Green Building Technologies Becoming More Affordable

The availability of green building technologies has been steadily increasing to the point of affordability. Some high-profile projects are setting the stage for broader acceptance and use.

"We are close to the tipping point at which green design becomes the default option for smart building."

The new Hearst Corporation building, recently opened in New York, has achieved a gold-level rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating program of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building required 20% less steel than a typical Manhattan high-rise and is expected to use 22% less energy and produce significantly less carbon dioxide emissions than the average city building.

LEED has also paved a path for new green building standards, including one that considers the entire life-span of a project and its materials.

"Quietly competing with LEED is the Cradle-to-Cradle protocol, developed by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. C2C considers the entire life cycle of a product, from manufacture to recycling; or, even better, 'up-cycling.' The first C2C home, a 1,623-square-foot, two-bedroom house in Roanoke, Va., will be completed next month."

Full Story: Green Wonders of the World

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