New building tools detect various shades of green

December 27, 2010 |

Is a green building in the middle of nowhere still considered green?

That's exactly what businesses, sustainability experts, and planners are studying. The growing green buildings movement is taking a new direction with the development of computer models that go beyond measuring a building’s carbon footprint and attempt to quantify the amount of energy people consume to reach that building.

Experts say the ability to quantify the energy spent getting to and from a building could force businesses to reconsider what it means to be green because transportation emissions account for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the newly quantifiable data could spur development in urban areas served by public transportation over so-called greenfields.

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