FAQs
What is a green building?
Green buildings are resource and energy efficient buildings that utilize construction materials wisely – including recycled, renewable, and reused resources to the maximum extent practical. Green buildings are designed, constructed and often commissioned to ensure they are healthy for their occupants. They are typically more comfortable and easier to live with due to lower operating and ownership costs, and are good for the planet. Green buildings can be homes, offices, schools, hospitals or any building type.
What is the effect of building green on the environment?
According to the Department of Energy, buildings consume 40% of the total energy and represent 38% of the carbon emissions in the United States. Green building offers us tremendous opportunities to save energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, improve air and water quality, and reduce waste.
Why build green?
When you build green, you provide buildings that cost less to operate, last longer, and keep occupants healthy, while distinguishing yourself in this increasingly competitive market. Green buildings also makes efficient use of water and other resources, minimize pollution and waste, and reduce overall environmental impact.
How much more does it cost to build green?
A common misconception is that going green is expensive. While the average additional cost of building green is approximately 2%, it’s usually more than offset by the immediate savings of lower monthly operating costs.
Will energy efficient upgrades pay for themselves?
Absolutely. The payback period for different types of upgrades will vary, but in general, reducing your home or building’s energy usage will pay for itself in a reasonable period of time, and will continue saving you money far into the future.

Some upgrades are quite simple and inexpensive, and can pay for themselves in as little as a year. With significant tax credits available, paybacks today are shorter than ever.

However, perhaps more importantly, when you look at the cost of financing green improvements compared to operating a traditional building, many of our most recommended practices and products immediately reduce your operating costs and pay for themselves.
How can my business benefit by going green?
Green buildings provide financial benefits that conventional buildings do not. These benefits may include energy and water savings, reduced waste, improved indoor environmental quality, greater employee comfort, increased productivity, reduced employee health costs, and lower operations and maintenance costs.

In addition, there are numerous sources of funding, including grants, tax credits and loans for green building, that are available at the national, state and local levels.
How green is my house?
A green home is one that reduces energy use, conserves natural resources, promotes the health and well being of the homeowners, and reduces negative environmental impacts.

Homes are responsible for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and the air inside them is often five times as polluted as outdoor air. This can lead to a variety of symptoms ranging from headaches to fatigue to respiratory illness including asthma and allergies.

A Green Building Evaluation can help you find your custom shade of green by providing simple, concrete suggestions for improving your home’s energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and indoor air quality, all within your budget.
Will greening my home increase its value?
In a word, yes! Buyers today are willing to pay more for homes that use less energy and are healthier to live in.

A 2007 national survey of homebuilders reported that buyers are willing to pay 11% to 25% more for green built homes.

A study by the Appraisal Institute states that the value of a home increases by more than $20 for every dollar of annual energy cost savings.
What is my home’s IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality)?
Good Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is important for staying healthy, yet the air inside many homes is more than five times as polluted than outdoor air.

Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Symptoms arising from poor IEQ can include rhinitis, nasal congestion, nose bleeds, sore throats, coughs, wheezing, asthma, headache, dizziness, lethargy, fatigue, nausea, rashes, conjunctival irritation, and others.*

A GreenTek Healthy Home Evaluation can help identify the causes of a poor IEQ, and our suggestions may help make your home a healthier environment for you and your family.

*Source: US Environmental Protection Agency
What is LEED certification?
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED (which stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”), provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. In the United States and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is a recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification is an accepted way for you to demonstrate that your building project is truly "green." Our GreenTek experts can help you decide if LEED, or another green building certification is right for you. In addition, we can facilitate the process of LEED registration, documentation and certification.
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