What is green building?

A ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life.

There are a number of features which can make a building ‘green’. These include: 

  • Efficient use of energy, water and other resources
  • Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy
  • Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling
  • Good indoor environmental air quality
  • Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable
  • Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation
  • Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation
  • A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment

Any building can be a green building, whether it’s a home, an office, a school, a hospital, a community centre, or any other type of structure, provided it includes features listed above.

However, it is worth noting that not all green buildings are – and need to be - the same. Different countries and regions have a variety of characteristics such as distinctive climatic conditions, unique cultures and traditions, diverse building types and ages, or wide-ranging environmental, economic and social priorities – all of which shape their approach to green building.

This is why WorldGBC supports its member Green Building Councils and their member companies in individual countries and across regions, to pursue green buildings that are best suited to their own markets.

To get involved in your own country’s transformation to green building, please contact or join your local Green Building Council.

A ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life.

There are a number of features which can make a building ‘green’. These include: 

  • Efficient use of energy, water and other resources
  • Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy
  • Pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling
  • Good indoor environmental air quality
  • Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable
  • Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation
  • Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation
  • A design that enables adaptation to a changing environment

Any building can be a green building, whether it’s a home, an office, a school, a hospital, a community centre, or any other type of structure, provided it includes features listed above.

However, it is worth noting that not all green buildings are – and need to be - the same. Different countries and regions have a variety of characteristics such as distinctive climatic conditions, unique cultures and traditions, diverse building types and ages, or wide-ranging environmental, economic and social priorities – all of which shape their approach to green building.

This is why WorldGBC supports its member Green Building Councils and their member companies in individual countries and across regions, to pursue green buildings that are best suited to their own markets.

To get involved in your own country’s transformation to green building, please contact or join your local Green Building Council.