How Can American AEC Firms Get The Lead In Sustainable Building Design? What A Potential Design Leader Should Know About "Green-Convertible Buildings."

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Energy-efficient building design and operations reduce the negative impacts of buildings on human health, natural environment, and non-renewable energy resources by reducing waste, pollution, environmental degradation, and energy consumption. However, the number of green residences and commercial buildings is small compared to the number of traditional buildings since the initial costs of energy-efficient buildings are relatively higher than regular buildings. When stricter environmental regulations take place, innovative technologies become available at a lower price, costs of non-renewable resources rise to higher levels, or capital financing becomes ready, energy-inefficient buildings will be required to convert to low-energy green buildings at a certain cost, the green-conversion cost.