Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Green building is the practice of:
- increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials, and
- reducing building impacts on human health and the environment,
- through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle. 
Environmental impacts of buildings
Buildings of the world consume:
- 40% of the world's energy & materials
- 25% of the wood harvested
- 17% of our water
In the US, buildings account for:
- 39% of total energy consumption
- 68% of total electricity use
- 38% of carbon dioxide emissions
- 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste in the U.S.
- 12% of water use
Clearly, our buildings, and how we use them, have a profound impact on the Earth's resources.
They also influence our own health: Most of us spend at least 90% of our time indoors, where the air is often twice -- and sometimes as much as a hundred times -- more polluted than outside air. 
U.S. Green Building Council
The [U.S. Green Building Council] has been particularly successful at defining the field in recent years through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or [LEED] green building rating system.
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