Why green building?

Buildings that are designed to be good for people, and to have a lower impact on the environment, deliver many benefits – both to their occupants and to the wider community.

The global movement to promote green building arose from a recognition of these benefits, as well as the realisation that common industry practice often wasn’t delivering buildings that were as healthy and efficient as they should be.

The New Zealand Green Building Council is part of an international network – there are more than 70 green building councils around the world.

What is a ‘green’ building?

A green building is one that is designed, built and operated in ways that reduce or remove any negative impact on the environment and the people using it.

Green buildings make more efficient use of resources such as energy and water, and provide healthier environments for people to live and work in. Green building practices can also reduce construction and operation costs.

The business case for green building

As well as being good for the environment and health, green buildings are good for the bottom line.

Green commercial buildings deliver better returns for owners and investors, and are in greater demand from tenants. International evidence shows that green buildings enjoy better occupancy and better returns, and have lower operating costs (including energy).

The principles of green buildings also apply to housing, where energy and water efficient homes cost less to run, and are warmer and drier, delivering health benefits to people living in them.

For more information, see the World Green Building Council’s report The Business Case for Green Buildings

Health and productivity

Green buildings have better indoor environment quality (measured by concentration of CO2 and level of toxins) and are designed to be pleasant for people to occupy – for example, through greenery and access to views and daylight. This has a positive impact on worker health and productivity. For example, international studies suggest an 8 – 11% improvement in productivity as a result of better IEQ.

For more information, see the World Green Building Council’s report on Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices