Is a green building defined by what it looks like? Should it have various ‘sexy’ technologies like solar panels, green roofs, and straw bale insulation? Or does it need to have low off-gassing materials, plentiful daylighting, and native species landscaping?
Instead of defining a green facility by a checklist of technologies, one should define a building by its actual reduced environmental footprint. As the most significant direct impact of structures, energy use should be the most important way they are ultimately judged. Without significant, monitored energy savings, no facility should be called ‘green.’