Global warming is a serious problem facing the world today as well as the world in the future. In order to stop or reverse this problem, society must change, learning to alter what they use in order to be less harmful to the environment. Making buildings “green” would greatly impact this problem. There are many ways for this to be done and more ways are being developed rapidly. As these new developments arise, the cost reward for green building becomes more logical for the consumer.
Thomas Hartman, a heating, piping and air conditioning specialist stated that "a worldwide scientific consensus has established that potentially catastrophic changes in climate as a result of human contributions to greenhouse-gas emissions are likely within the next century if the current growth in emissions is not reversed" (Hartman). In order for greenhouse gas emissions as well as other harmful pollutants to be reduced, a great change must be made in the way everything is constructed. Green, or environmentally friendly, building construction is becoming a very popular topic in current culture and it should be. The possibilities of green building are headlining newspapers, challenging engineers, and becoming lead issues in government elections. According to Jeff Komblau, director of sales and marketing for Eagle Construction of VA, "We wanted to reach under the finishes of our homes to inject quality that is not visible but creates comfort and is seen in the savings created each month with a smaller carbon footprint" (Childers, 2008). Even local businesses such as Eagle Construction are beginning to see the benefits of green construction. Although, when most consumers look at green products, they see an environmentally friendly product with a hefty price. Most green engineered products are meant to consume less energy, saving the consumer money in the long run. The big question is whether the consumer gains back the cost of green buildings or green engineered products for the home in a timely manner, if at all. New developments are made everyday in the field of engineering that are meant to save energy and protect the environment. This is a very important time to be conscious of energy consumption, due to global warming. Naturally there will be experts constantly creating new technologies in this field, but another big question is whether there should be rules and regulations that force people to create or use green engineered products. While green building construction may appear costly for consumers, new developments in the engineering field are providing increasingly cost-effective solutions. Even though green engineering is coming to the forefront of society now, it has been around and developing for many years. Solar energy is most definitely the greatest known form of energy conservation. Solar panels can decrease the energy consumption of a building drastically by producing their own energy from the sun. In some cases, buildings can even give back excess energy to the power grid. However, solar power is only ideal for certain regions. While some areas get lots of direct sunlight every day, like Arizona, others get less sunlight or are often cloudy, like Alaska. This technology has been around for quite a long time, but it is still growing in popularity, as well as quality (M.J. Sowick, conversation, January 28, 2009). An unusual and expensive technology ten years ago is now a cheaper, more common energy alternative. As influential as solar energy has been, the sustainable developments that are emerging today are numerous. The use of natural light is becoming very popular in new large buildings. Buildings can have many skylights and windows to get natural light deep into the interior. The artificial lights in the building could then dim or turn off when there is a sufficient amount of natural light. This use of light was used in The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (Green building...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document