What is Green Engineering?

Green engineers can work on devices that use solar energy.

Green engineering is the process and design of products that conserve natural resources and have as little impact on the environment as possible. The term is often applied to housing, but can be used for automobiles, lights, or any other type of system or device that requires engineering and incorporates sound environmental principles. Although green engineering is a little more expensive, many countries, recognizing the value of this work, have started to offer tax breaks and other incentives to those who incorporate its use.

Green engineering includes using the latest materials and techniques to design a sustainable structure, such as an office building.

Green engineers often have special training in the field, perhaps attending special classes to understand how materials and other components can be made in an environmentally friendly way. For example, engineers and architects concerned with residential design can learn about the latest building materials and techniques. This can include the use of solar-powered appliances, especially water heaters, solar lights or windows, and other design elements.

Designing software and products for the wind energy market can be included in green engineering.

For anyone building a new building or home, the best time to start the green engineering process is early on. Renovating a building with green design concepts is possible, but it is not as efficient or uniform as having these features integrated initially. Therefore, it is extremely important to make the desire for green design and technology known from the start.

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Green engineers must meet the project’s technical specifications as well as profitability and safety standards.

For buildings, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a standard that many new buildings strive to achieve. This means the building uses a substantial amount of green engineering. While this certification is not required by any government agency, buildings that receive certification are often considered a standard for others to follow. Some owners may even offer bonuses if a building becomes LEED certified.

Green engineering can help improve indoor air quality.

There are several rating criteria evaluated for LEED certification. Some of these include the green engineering and design process, the materials used, indoor air quality and water efficiency, among others. Each is judged individually and will include not only design elements of the building, but also elements external to the building, such as the irrigation system and other landscaping features.

Green engineering can play an important role in designing and building manufacturing facilities to ecological standards.

In other areas, green engineering can apply to what is done with automobiles. Current design concepts used in cars considered to be environmentally friendly are hybrid technologies, flex fuel vehicles and even electricity. The future may offer opportunities for fuel cell vehicles and other transportation technologies. While the price of these vehicles, like homes, is initially higher, some states offer incentives. Furthermore, the consumption of less energy means that there is a chance to realize cost savings in operating these vehicles over time.

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