In today’s environmentally conscious society, green isn’t just a color, it’s a message and a commitment. Companies are proud to boast of their ecological practices. Politicians include climate issues in their campaign promises and many even tackle the controversial topic of greenhouse gas emissions and what industrial societies must do to pollute less. Celebrities use their fame to promote sustainable practices. Children in school are taught to take care of the planet. We realize that our soil, our waterways and our air are all fragile partners in the circle of life in which we are all connected. Our planet has endured much in the way of pollution but thanks to modern-day awareness, people from all walks of life are making a commitment to remember our obligation to Planet Earth. We have all made a promise to “go green.”
That promise also extends to the building industry. As environmental consciousness increased, the commercial world recognized that we have a part to play in this venture. Danpal has always operated under the slogan Global Mission, Local Focus, so for us, paying attention to the holistic practices that help the planet is nothing new. For us, green buildings are the only way to build.
RESOURCE EFFICIENCY AS PART OF THE GREEN BUILDING LIFESTYLE
Using natural materials, renewable materials, and natural materials is how we practice resource efficiency. In order to be efficient with our resources, we should use products that are locally available, refurbished, or salvaged. Packaging is an important part of resource efficiency. Using products that are packed with materials that are reusable or recyclable defines our lifestyle as one of better stewardship of the planet.
In order to be a truly green building, it must be the product of a process which pays close attention to every segment of the construction process and the materials that are used. That means that the extraction, fabrication, processing, transportation, installation, recycling, reuse and disposal of the materials used in construction must support a philosophy of sustainability.
IDENTIFYING A GREEN BUILDING
One way of identifying whether or not a building is green is to determine it’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). By using materials that emit few or no carcinogens or chemicals, that are non-toxic and resistant to moisture and can be installed with minimal volatile organic compounds (VOC), IAQ is supported and this helps to identify a green building.
Water is another resource which is part of the green building identification process. Using products that reduce the consumption of water helps in the conservation of this natural resource which we all depend upon, but which is in short supply in far too many parts of the world.
The global economy also factors into the identification of a green building. Materials used in the construction of green buildings should be affordable so that they can be universally accessible.
Danpal is an eager participant in this crusade for resource efficiency. We obey federal regulations and building codes that are designed to make sure that products adhere to ecologically sound practices.