Fact or Fiction: Sustainable Building

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Studies have shown that sustainable buildings cost only about 2 percent more to build than traditional buildings do -- and they'll pay you back many times over in energy savings. So how much do you know about building green?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The U.S. Green Building Council bestows LEED certification on buildings based on sustainability. It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Green is the highest LEED rating.

The highest LEED rating is Platinum.

A brise-soleil system stores energy from sunlight and uses it to power a building's HVAC system.

Brise-soleil is a sun-shading structure that can reflect sunlight to parts of the building that need light.

Fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning that can be used to make energy-efficient insulation.

Cement made from fly ash reduces the need for concrete production, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Many sustainable buildings recycle gray water into drinking water.

Gray water isn't drinkable, but it's great for watering plants -- many green buildings have gray water recycling systems.

The "Living Machine" at Oberlin College treats and purifies wastewater for use in toilets.

Yep, the Living Machine is for wastewater.

The "solar umbrella" of PV panels on the creatively named Solar Umbrella House in Venice, Calif., supplies half of the building's energy.

Neither answer is right -- they're both way low. Ninety-five percent of the Solar Umbrella House's energy is provided by the solar panels. Also, 85 percent of the project's construction waste was recycled.

Chipotle is the first restaurant chain to have a LEED Platinum-certified building.

Yes, a Chipotle outpost in Gurnee, Ill., was awarded Platinum status in 2009. It has its own wind turbine and a 2,500-gallon underground water cistern.

The Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in New York City has the city's largest green roof, at 2.5 acres.

In July 2009, the USPS unveiled the 2.5-acre green roof and park atop its seven-story Morgan mail processing facility.

The largest solar-powered community in North America is in Baja California, Mexico.

El Dorado Ranch, a development in San Felipe, Mexico, has more than 3,000 solar-powered home sites and a number of completely off-the-grid neighborhoods.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes