EcoTrack 11: Moving green into buildings is good policy

By Chris Vickers - email | bio

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - There is no instant solution that makes a building green. But steps can be followed to make all buildings more energy efficient.

"Fundamentally, a green building is extremely energy efficient, extremely water efficient, uses environmentally responsible resources and actually reduces the amount of waste that goes into our nation's landfills," said Ari Kobb with Siemens Building Technologies.

It's not just how a building is constructed that makes it green, but the principles that have gone into operating it: reduce, reuse and recycle.

"On average, a green building can save up to 30 percent on energy costs and even 50 percent on water costs, and that is what really goes down to the bottom line," Kobb said.

Building accounts for 40 percent of our total energy usage and, on average, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors -- either at home or at work.

So, Kobb says, we need to ask ourselves some questions:

"What kind of practices do we have at work that can help? Do we have good recycling programs, do we turn our lights off, do we have controls that make sure that it is not too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter?"

Also, green changes at work and school can spread to other parts of our lives.

"We just need to think about how we use energy at home. I have a young son and I feel great when he says, 'Let's turn the lights off to save energy.' So they are learning this stuff in school and bringing it into our houses," Kobb said.

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