Monday, October 15, 2007

How green is green?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (sponsored by the US Green Building Council) is the organization that rates buildings for environmentally efficiency.

Now, some environmental groups are saying the rating system isn’t tight enough. LEED claims that they had to allow some “gimmes” to encourage businesses to get on board.

But why should businesses need the incentive of some flashy rating system. The environmental movement should focus its efforts on informing companies of how much money they can save by designing an efficient building. The bottom line (which is what ultimately matters) is that building green makes sense.

Recycling building water within a building, solar panels, green roofing, rainwater collection, high R-factor windows, and bamboo flooring are just a few green building techniques that also save money.

The most important thing to remember is that the goal with green buildings is energy efficiency. That translates, for a business, to lower operating costs. The US Department of Energy has set a strategic goal of net-zero energy buildings by 2025. They may cost slightly more to build, but at a zero-cost energy bill, that means huge savings.

It comes down to the A2U® (Attitude, Awareness, Usage) of green. The communication about green building has not captured the proper attitude or usage to motivate businesses properly.

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