Article | 2002

Introduction to Green Building: Resource Efficiency

By Alexis Karolides

This article, originally published in RMI Solutions, introduces the concept of green building. The author argues that green building enhances the natural environment while benefiting humans. According to Karolides, green building takes a holistic approach to planning, designing, and constructing buildings. Choosing “green” building materials is not a cut-and-dried process. There are many considerations—sometimes conflicting. No project will be composed of a perfectly green set of materials and strategies; rather, designers and owners must determine what the most important characteristics are for the project and what the occupants need. Green builders consider the interlinked issues of site and climate, building orientation and form, and lighting and thermal comfort, as opposed to considering these issues in isolation. This whole-systems approach must begin in the building’s conception stages. Green building techniques allow the builder to reduce energy use and costs. This article describes several methods of saving energy and money in the building process. “