Green building is a broad term that refers to building design and construction practices that encourage people to be more responsible with energy, natural resources and the environment. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
program, green buildings reduce the negative impacts of buildings on occupants and the environment in five general categories: sustainable site planning, safeguarding water and water efficiency, energy efficiency
and renewable energy
, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality
Green buildings have existed in many world cultures for centuries. Building materials like adobe clay or green roofs
in European towns are models for the modern green building movement, which began in the late 1980s. Architects responding to the energy crisis of the late 1970s began designing buildings that enhanced occupancy comfort while also actively conserving natural resources. The USGBC, created in 1993, is the leading authority in green building initiatives with its LEED accreditation and certification program.