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When applied to construction or renovation, the word "green" (or "sustainable") can mean different things, but generally the term "green building" refers to lessening the environmental impact and improving the efficiency and long-term economic performance of new construction and renovation projects. Green buildings are also known as high-performance buildings.

Key to this practice is looking beyond "first" costs and incorporating life-cycle analysis and resource conservation measures into the site planning, design, construction, and operational stages of a project.

While most green buildings look similar to conventionally built buildings, their operational costs are often lower because of the use and integration of high-quality, energy-efficient materials and products. Other benefits of "going green" can include better indoor air quality and increased occupant comfort and productivity.

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