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Why do green buildings cost more than conventional buildings?

This is not necessarily true. Comparing different types of building, i.e. one with solar panels vs. a traditional building will show an initial upfront cost but the operating costs will be much more economical. This return on investment should cover and offset the initial upfront costs compared with a traditional building.

How can I cut down on paper usage in our company?

Establish a policy of copying on both sides of the paper for internal documents. Also, establish a policy to distribute documents electronically in lieu of printing. Pay your bills online and cancel paper statements.

Which is better: a recycled material or a natural material?

There is no perfect material or product. All materials in one form or another have a negative effect on our environment. The key is setting priorities for what you want to accomplish with that material or product and then minimizing the environmental impact of that material or product. Some key questions to consider when making your decision are:
a) Where did this material or product come from?
b) What are the by-products of its’ manufacturer?
c) How is the material delivered and installed?
d) How is the material maintained and operated?
e) What do we do with them once we are done with the materials?

Does our heating or cooling operate over night?

Yes, unless you manually set your temperature down or up depending on your location. You may also be able to shut down your system overnight. A final option is to have a programmable thermostat. Using programmable thermostats automatically adjusts the target temperature for your system so you can minimize the amount of energy your system will use.

What is “green”? And what is LEED?

Green is a term used to describe anything that’s environmentally friendly. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council created LEED as a method of scoring buildings to show how “green” they are. Since it has been instituted LEED has become the benchmark for green building in the United States.