Etsy - Redefining Green Buildings
Esty does not play around when it comes to going green. Take a look into the Etsy headquarter's library from top to bottom it has been sustainably furnished. For starters, their coffee tables and pots were curated from reclaimed timber from a sustainable source. Wondering how they water these plants? Oh you know, from rainwater collected from their very own rooftop. Of course their lighting is all LED. To top everything off, their rugs and paint are both made from organic materials.
These green-certified buildings will soon be the new norm, taking the nation by storm. To head this revolution is the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). LEED has been slowly revolutionizing with the basics - low energy lighting, implementing the use of solar panels, and installing efficient heating units in offices nation wide.
The problem found in this revolution is that building materials are not always held to environmental standards in construction. The Living Building Challenge has decided to take matters into their own hands. They have created a new standard that has established requirements for regulatory water and energy usage in addition to standards for materials when constructing a new building. They have created a certification that states said building must run completely on site generated reusable energy and collect rainwater in attempts to obtain its own water supply.
Among those standards, the buildings also can not use a single trace of a red listed toxic chemicals/materials. These materials must come from sustainably sourced areas that have not left a large carbon footprint. These standards are truly creating buildings that are suitable from floor to ceiling.
Etsy is still working to fully go green within its building's walls. They have vetted every glue used in construction along with every screw. The one place they fall short is within their technology. Green technology as in economically friendly laptops are not in their grasp just yet. They hope to one day attain the certification but until then they will keep pushing the go green envelope. These changes are quite costly.
The price tag on a green built building ends up being about twenty five percent higher than to build a non green building. Although, the operating costs are lower because of the reduced energy usage costing you significantly less in the long run. Etsy went a step further and employed its sellers instead of large firms to renew their office and build it greener. Etsy did have to supply the reclaimed wood because these standards are still a little blurred. The wood has to be certified by the FSC and obtained from a sustainable source. This is quite costly itself.
This begs the question - are greener built buildings only for the upper class? Although, this may be the case starting out they are hoping (like most inventive products) it is eventually fully standardized and made more available to the general public. Changes in this fashion are already being made. For example, a timber company has already dropped its minimum order charge so that small companies can purchase smaller orders to refurbish their firms.
The new standards that are being implemented now are quite amazing in themselves. For instance, like our organic groceries these new building materials must come labelled with what they contain and where they came from. The International Living Future is ensuring these tags come as a regulatory standard. Building clean allows for clean minds.
Etsy is a believer that in having a well balanced environment comes a well balanced mind. This creates great workers. This is proven because there are less chemicals being omitted into their environment promoting good health. Among these green building changes that promote health, Etsy has also included other amenities. Etsy has built extra bike racks to encourage biking to work which emits less carbon dioxide. They have also added showers and a breathing room so that employees can enjoy physical activity on breaks to clear their minds. Etsy's goal is to become a vessel which promotes healthy lifestyle and eco - friendly industries.