Deploying clean energy at the building scale is an impactful way for cities to do so. The most common technologies are photovoltaic solar energy, solar thermal systems and heat pumps. ENERGY STAR is a certification for energy efficient buildings, while green building certifications are for environmentally friendly buildings, in more general terms. The EPA believes that energy efficiency is the first step toward ecology and that all green properties must be energy efficient.
Using ENERGY STAR tools and resources and obtaining ENERGY STAR recognition, when available, will ensure that your green properties (whether certified by LEED or another system) are truly energy efficient. Long considered expensive, green buildings have increased in popularity thanks to the many advantages they have over non-green buildings, ranging from environmental to social and economic. Many green building rating systems know that you can't have a green building unless it's energy efficient, and they recognize ENERGY STAR as the main symbol of energy efficiency. That's why ENERGY STAR complements the main green building certification systems, such as LEED and Green Globes.
By reducing the use of energy sources that pollute the environment, such as coal, green buildings help to keep the environment clean. For example, by using a task lighting strategy and a large amount of natural light, green buildings greatly reduce the amount of energy used in lighting systems; this allows users to save up to a third of their water and energy bills. The quality of the indoor environment depends on the conditions inside the building and how they affect the occupants of the building. Green buildings achieve this by installing operable windows that allow as much sunlight as possible to enter and reducing the use of materials that can emit elements hazardous to health.
To do this, they install solar panels to take advantage of the sun's energy and design the windows in a way that allows as much natural light as possible and, therefore, reduce the use of artificial light; these and other methods ensure that the building uses energy efficiently. Adding renewable energy systems, such as solar or wind energy, to the building you are modernizing helps you improve your triple profitability and, at the same time, gain a competitive advantage with lower electricity bills. While building a green building may be slightly more expensive than its non-green counterparts, the reduction in operating and maintenance costs of green buildings makes them much cheaper in the long term. It is independently verified that these buildings perform better than 75 percent of similar buildings across the country.
Since operating and maintenance costs can represent up to 80% of the living costs of a building, reducing these costs significantly increases the incomes of building owners who collect rent from their buildings. Green construction allows the use of alternative water sources, such as rainwater, reduces water waste by installing plumbing fixtures that are efficient and reduces pressure on shared water resources by installing systems that purify water and allow recycling. People who live in green buildings enjoy many health benefits due to the safety of the materials used in the construction of such buildings.