“With the exception of some high-flying migrant species, nature doesn't commute to work.” - Janine Benyus, Biomimicry

Aquinas College

Green Buildings


Construction workers breaking ground on the green library for Aquinas College
Photo by Jessica Eimer

Development and construction can have detrimental effects on the environment which affects people's health and well being, as well as the economy. The purpose of green building is to reduce the impacts on human health and the environment, through site selection, designing for local conditions, constructing with local or regional materials and sustainably operating and maintaining the building throughout its entire life cycle. Intelligent design can allow buildings, in which we spend roughly 90% of our time, to be more comfortable, less energy intensive (and therefore less expensive over the long term), more environmentally sensitive and aesthetically pleasing.

The categories below provide up to date information on green building design and case studies illustrating how they can help achieve the goals of sustainability.


Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Site by CMC/GrandNet