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Thurston County Activities Related to Climate Change

Green Building Information

What is Green Building?

Green Building involves using an integrated approach to design and construct buildings that promotes well-being while significantly reducing the negative impact on the environment through emphasis on life-cycle analysis.

plant in hard hatGreen building practices incorporate:

  • energy efficiency
  • water conservation
  • waste minimization
  • pollution prevention
  • resource-efficient materials
  • improved indoor air quality

Why Focus on Sustainable Design?

There are a number of economic benefits to green building and low impact development strategies, including reduced operating costs, increased return on investment, increased productivity and human health, enhanced image and marketability, meeting regulatory requirements, and reduced liability.

On the environmental front, development and construction practices are main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of unwanted side effects such as air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, toxic wastes, health hazards, global warming, and other negative consequences. Buildings use one-quarter of all the world's wood harvest. Buildings consume two-fifths of all material and energy flows. Fifty-four percent of U.S. energy consumption is directly or indirectly related to buildings and their construction. Buildings account for 35% of U.S. CO2 emissions.  In the state of Washington, 55% of all waste going to landfills is construction waste.

Additionally, NW Washington is experiencing high population growth rates that results in demand for increasing our 'built environment', and yet, the things newcomers and old timers value most, is our natural environment and strong sense of community.

Advanced Methods and Materials

Advanced methods and materials include:

Information about these methods can be found on the resource links featured below.

Green Building Resources and Links

  • EcoBuilding Guild
    The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is an association of builders, designers, homeowners, tradespeople, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in ecologically sustainable building.
  • Built Green Program
    Built Green homes are designed to provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. These resource-efficient homes are crafted to exceed building codes and provide homeowners with years of healthy, quality living, while protecting the precious Northwest environment.
  • Cascadia
    This is the regional site for the Northwest Chapter of the USGBC. This objective of this site is to provide an accessible roadmap for sustainable building. This site includes resources such as: books, LEED materials, regional resources, green building fact sheets, green posters, LEED AP study materials and information on past and future workshops and presentations.
  • Energy Star Program
    ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
  • USGBC The United States Green Building Council
    The USGBC is a non-profit organization that certifies LEED development projects and is dedicated to expanding green building practices including LEED Neighborhood Design (LEED ND).

Contact Us

Interested Parties: If you would like to be added to our Web Mail list, please click here. Staff contact: Tony Kantas, Associate Planner, Thurston County Department of Resource Stewardship. Phone: 360-786-5472. E-mail: kantast@co.thurston.wa.us.

 

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