Green is more than a color. Green means sustainability and efficiency. Masonry is a durable material with a long life expectancy and less required maintenance than other building materials, ensuring that it will be around long after other types of structures have burned or crumbled. Speaking of temperature, masonry structures save on energy costs by retaining hot or cold air longer. It requires less specialized equipment to build with and maintain, saving even more money. Being usually produced locally, building with masonry saves on transportation costs as well.
What else does a shorter trip to the job site mean? Fewer carbon emissions from the transportation process. The material itself can be recycled, reducing the impact of mineral extraction as well as material disposal on the environment. The more structures are built with masonry, the lower the demand will be for raw materials, shifting instead to more recycled materials from old structures.
LEED® Green Building Rating System
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™, created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is a voluntary building certification program that defines high-performance green buildings, which are more environmentally responsible, healthier, and more profitable structures. LEED was created to establish a common standard of measurement for what constitutes a “green” building. LEED serves as a design guideline for green building and offers third party validation of a building’s green features.
The LEED rating system focuses on six areas; Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process. To achieve certification, a project must earn credits in each of these categories from the USGBC, for a minimum total of 26 credits.
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