"In today's commercial-construction industry, going green is on the minds of everyone from architects to contractors to building owners. And for good reason: A green building-especially one that is LEED-certified-is very attractive to tenants and is much less expensive for owners to operate in the long run.
A major consideration for any building is managing rainwater. Keeping it out of the building is critical, of course, but when the ground can't absorb stormwater, the overflow can cause flooding and devastate streams and wetlands. Impermeable surfaces such as roofs, roads, and parking lots can increase rainwater runoff by as much as 45% (source: IBM, Armonk, NY). The Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, has named urban stormwater runoff, which can carry a wide variety of pollutants, as a leading source of impairment to rivers, lakes, and estuaries, as well as the plant and animal life in them.
Ironically, another concern for cities and developed areas is the shortage of water. Hardscapes restrict rainfall from soaking into the earth, which is necessary to replenish groundwater and other sources for clean drinking water. As greater focus is put on water management in urban settings, architects and building owners need to become more thoughtful and proactive about implementing water-management practices for commercial buildings and other new construction "
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PUT RAIN RUNOFF TO WORK
By: Bill Johnson, Firestone Specialty Products
Commercial Building Products
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