Sustainable Building & Development - Energy Star Homes
Almost one-third of all the energy used in the United States goes to heat, cool and illuminate buildings. For existing buildings, conservation and small changes in maintenance and operation can save money and energy. For new construction, green building standards are evolving that measure the performance of a building as it relates to energy savings and, in some cases, to other environmental factors as well.
On Long Island, New York and in villages, towns and cities across the country, building codes are being amended to incorporate the principles of green building. Some codes are specifically referencing one of the two programs below.
LEED: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
ENERGY STAR: The American Institute of Architects, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Department of Energy have teamed up to create the Energy Star program for commercial buildings and manufacturing plants. The AIA has called for a 50% reduction in energy use generated from burning fossil fuels by 2010, and the Energy Star Building program helps users meet that goal. Rating systems allow architects and building owners to use the Energy Star logo.