Lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are the two largest uses of energy throughout the commercial building sector. In fact, lighting alone accounts for nearly 35–50 percent of total electricity consumption. Within the building envelope, however, lies the opportunity to reduce the energy being consumed and decrease a building’s overall carbon footprint. Achieving sustainability within the building envelope starts with specifying the right products. Choosing eco-friendly products doesn’t just ensure lower energy costs; it can enhance occupant health and reduce any negative impact on the building itself, as well as the environment.
Selecting masonry products requires consideration of a number of attributes – performance, aesthetics and cost, to name just a few. If you’re working on a green building, the list grows. Products for sustainable projects require an additional level of scrutiny to determine environmental impacts, including operational and embodied energy, carbon footprint, and impact on human and ecosystem health.