Green Communities Research Center
In the U.S., buildings account for approximately 40 percent of total energy use, 70 percent of electricity consumption, 40 percent of CO2 emissions, and 14 percent of potable water consumption. Adopting building practices that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient, however, can play a major role in reducing the impacts buildings have on the natural environment.
On average, green buildings can help reduce energy use by approximately 30 percent, CO2 emissions by 35 percent, water use by 40 percent, and solid waste by 70 percent. Green building practices include installing energy-efficient appliances, using sustainably harvested materials, and using low-VOC paints and finishes to improve indoor air quality.
Available through APA’s Planning Advisory Service is the Essential Info Packet, Planning and Zoning for Green Buildings, which includes links to green building programs, guidelines, incentives, zoning ordinances, building codes, and reports. APA has published a number of articles on green building, including “Green Grow the Buildings,” “Green Buildings: Onus or Bonus,” and “Green is Coming Out on Top.”
In 2008, APA partnered with DTI Associates and the Economic Development Administration on their quarterly publication, EDA America, which included “Benefits of Going Green” in the Summer 2008 issue.