FAQs: Green versus conventional, FAQ 20
How does green building differ from conventional building? Truly ecological building not only takes into account the use of renewable resources and energy efficiency, but also production methods and chemical usage, labor practices, longevity of the structure, and a host of other factors not normally addressed in conventional building.
Building biology, which can be viewed as an interdisciplinary study of the green and conventional building movements, treats the natural environment as the gold standard and optimal environment for human health and ecology. The home is thus seen as a biological organism interacting with the environment rather than a machine for living in.
More directly, Building Biology is a holistic way of building and renovating for health. Unlike conventional green building, where the needs of health and ecology are often in a compromised relationship (i.e. the need for fresh air vs. the need for energy conservation), Building Biology is unique in that health and ecology are integrally related.
There is a direct correlation between biological compatibility and ecological performance. IBE 205.2 – Building Materials Overview offers an excellent introduction to ecological vs. conventional building, as well as the growing movement to building biology.
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