Green building advancement dates back to the late nineteenth century when it started with the concepts of environmental conservation and preservation, and public health protection. The idea at that time was opposed because the public felt that it contradicted social norms that defined how a private home should be constructed for the good of the public. It was later accepted as a measure of environmental conservation and at the present, green building programmes are fully established departments in various counties in the United States.
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Home builder associations and non-governmental bodies have taken the collective responsibility in advocating for green building. Many people now believe that these programmes reflect a paradigm shift in the cultural perspective, in view of public health and environmental conservation (Moore, and Nathan 51).
Building codes in the United States were adopted as a result of understanding and acceptance of the present day crisis where some individuals misuse the freedom and put up substandard buildings that pose danger to public health and safety. The legislation of the law may have received political scrutiny that could have led to delay of implementation were it not for the devastating fires of nineteenth century that destroyed eleven cities.
Moreover, it is clearly evident how urbanization and industrialization processes have degraded the environment by polluting both air and water. There have also been reported cases where industries deliberately spilled their waste products into conduits that drained into clean water springs thus compromising the public health of people who depend upon this springs for clean water.
Such acts have made the Government to urgently develop building codes in order to resuscitate the environment that is already degraded. Proper disposal of wastes not only by industries, but also the general public has been emphasized. For instance, the codes stipulate that any developer should never construct buildings on top of drainages. In addition, all houses should have proper drainage systems and septic tanks.
The inception of building codes has shaped the path followed in this industry. For instance, it has pushed away constructors from the use of paints with volatile organic compounds to those without. Also building using wood is being discouraged because cutting of trees has led to destruction of environment.
The codes have also called for the use of technologically developed building materials like tiles that does require painting as well as pvc pipes that do not rust. All these measures are geared towards preserving the environment by reducing air pollution and thus safeguarding public health (Moore, and Nathan 57). Of equal importance, the use of non volatile paint and avoiding wood in construction has greatly helped in prevention of fire.
Utilitarianism holds the opinion that private homes either add to or reduce public wherewithal. With reference to industries, two types of damages are observed. The first one is air pollution resulting from oil refinery. The second type of damage is water pollution by disposal of waste products into clean water sources.
The point of view held by the utilitarian theory is that the private property freedom should be minimized and closely monitored in order to reduce government revenue spent in rehabilitating the environment. As a result the cost maintaining the economy may reduce. In their opinion, green building codes promotes the general welfare of the public (Moore, and Nathan 60).
In conclusion, the green building programme should be understood as an attempt to find a lasting solution to environmental problems that have resulted from construction industry, especially in real estate development. Standardization of the codes that to cut across the construction industry will ensure that environmental conservation is upheld by ensuring that buildings are put up using the highest possible standards.
Green building can therefore be defined as a new social good that is within the jurisdictions of politics (Moore and Nathan 69). Lastly, green building program represents building codes as cultural and social standards that are based on collectively derived values targeted at public good.
Moore, Steven A., and Nathan Engstrom. “The Social Construct of ‘Green Building’ Codes.” Sustainable Architectures: Cultures and Natures in Europe and North America. Ed. Simon Guy and Steven A. Moore. New York: Spon Press, 2005. 51- 70. Print.