Toward greener, more energy-efficient buildings

November 17, 2008

In the face of growing environmental concerns and a renewed interest in energy efficiency, the construction of homes and businesses that emphasize "green" construction materials is on the rise, according to an article scheduled for the November 17 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

In the two-part C&EN cover story, Senior Business Editor Melody Voith notes that while green building materials were once viewed as a trendy environmental statement focusing on natural or recyclable items, these materials now are emerging as practical, high-performance products that also provide energy efficiency. The market for green building products and services was $12 billion in 2007 and experts project it to increase to $60 billion by 2010, the article notes.

Today, a "green building" usually refers to a commercial building or home that has been certified as such by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its use of environmentally-friendly materials, among other considerations. The USGBC plans to release updated certification standards in 2009 that emphasize lower energy use and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the article notes.

The U.S. Department of Energy, meanwhile, assists builders in making homes more energy efficient by publishing guideline specifications for insulation, windows, ductwork, appliances, and other items. Says one producer of construction materials, "All of a sudden, green is becoming serious and growing up. It is a huge shift in how buildings are designed and constructed."

Article: "High-Performance Buildings" pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8646cover.html

Source: ACS

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