What exactly is a “green building”? Well, according to Wikipedia, a “Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.”
A few examples of how to make a building “green” are 1) choose a design strategy – this can really affect energy performance. Buildings that have white roof or energy efficient shape and orientation, solar design, and using natural lighting are examples of eco-friendly design strategy. 2) installing a high-efficiency lighting system with motion sensors. 3) installing an energy-efficient heating/cooling system. 4) use ultra low-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads.
In my little hometown, Reid’s Landscaping is the only “green building” that I could think of. They use solar panels to help reduce the amount of energy that they use.
Solar power is very safe. It emits no carbon dioxide, fumes or pollution, and the panels can produce power for at least 25-30 years. The sun’s light contains energy. When light hits an object the energy turns into heat. But when light hits certain materials the energy turns into an electrical current instead, which we can then harness for power. Solar power cells use the energy of speeding photons to create an electrical current within a solar panel. The solar panels contain two layers of silicon; one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge. When the sun’s rays land on a panel, electrons move from one layer to another, creating an electrical current. The inverter takes the current and converts it into usable power (240V AC).