The green building movement arose from the need and desire for more energy efficiency and environmentally friendly construction practices. It’s also known as sustainable building and it brings together a vast array of practices, techniques and skills to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health.

Often, a green build focuses on taking advantage of renewable resources—like harnessing natural sunlight through solar techniques or planting trees and ivy in order to help regulate temperature. Using wood as a building material or crushed gravel instead of traditional concrete—to reduce rainwater runoff and replenish groundwater—are examples of how choosing the right material can greatly affect the impact your home has on the environment.

The essence of green building is optimizing efficiency in site and structure design, energy, water, materials usage as well as indoor environmental quality enhancement, waste and toxins reduction, and operations and maintenance optimization.

There are several key steps in designing sustainable buildings: specify “green” building materials from local sources, reduce loads, optimize systems, and generate on-site renewable energy.

Simply, sustainability is about reducing expenses– including future expenses– in every conceivable form, so as to facilitate longevity and to balance the environmental impact of construction with the human benefit.