Life cycle assessment tools and green building rating systems are practical methods of translating sustainability into practice. Estidama is a point-based system for certifying the level of a building’s sustainability. This presentation will focus on concrete’s contribution to the Estidama rating system. Using cement and concrete in building construction contributes to sustainable buildings by reducing environmental impacts in many ways. These include:
• Reduced site disturbance
• Improved outdoor thermal comfort
• Minimizing energy use
• Building reuse
• Material emissions
• Regional materials
• Durable materials
• Resistance to fire and wind
• Safe and secure environment
Green buildings project a positive environmental image to the community. Additionally, meeting many green building practices can result in significant energy and cost savings over the life of the structure. Other advantages include better indoor air quality and plenty of daylight. Studies have shown that workers in these environments are more productive, miss fewer days, and stay with an employer longer. These benefits contribute directly to a company’s profits because salaries—which are about ten times higher than rent, utilities, and maintenance combined—are the largest expense for most companies occupying office space.
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