Green architecture (also known as green construction or sustainable architecture) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a architecture's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green architecture practice expands and complements the classical architecture design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green architecture's are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
- Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
- Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation
A similar concept is natural architecture, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Other related topics include sustainable design and green architecture. Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Green architecture does not specifically address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes.