This article notes the recent push towards green design, construction and maintenance, attributing much of the impetus to surveys showing significant long-term savings due to reduced energy costs.  Among the findings discussed: green buildings in the U.S. consume 30 percent less energy than their conventional counterparts and comfortably offset their higher construction costs over a two-year period by savings from lower running costs.

Additional areas of “green” savings are explored and intangible benefits are highlighted in studies that show that more natural daylight results in greater job satisfaction, less stress and better health.  Views of water and green spaces positively affect employee health by lowering blood pressure and reducing pain and stress.

The article provides examples of successes from the UK to China, and discusses several U.S. “green” sites, including the award-winning Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The work of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is discussed, with 137 new buildings in the U.S. certified by them and 1,700 U.S. buildings registered for future evaluation.

Source: Lim Lay Ying, New Straits Times (Kuala Lumpur); Feb 26, 2005

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