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green

opportunities

/ /

lance

a.

williams

Green building and sustainability will grow as people become more aware of both the inherent
Green building and sustainability
will grow as people become more
aware of both the inherent chal-
lenges and opportunities.

Overcoming Resistance

O ver the last decade and a half –

particularly since the formation of

the U.S. Green Building Council

(USGBC) and the introduction of

the LEED Rating System – owners

and operators have considered the significant implications of energy efficiency and high-performance buildings as never before. It was USGBC's intent to focus on both challenges and solutions in convening an industry wide, long- term dialogue designed to be ongo- ing and periodically updated, as evidence revealed that industry was actively engaged in the debate. However, there have been many significant objections raised to making the business case for green

> Incorporating green and sustainable building into a firm’s objectives is challenging compared to business as usual – and understanding green’s long-term value is the first step.

building. They include:

» Perceived costs of building green and sustainably – When developers and building owners have historically looked at cost, they have been faced with a dilemma tied to their impression that building green represents a premi- um over traditional building activities. Research has demonstrated that invariably, when the decision to build green occurs by the design phase, the added cost of building green is in the single digits depending on the level of LEED certification being sought. Increasingly, as more projects are undertaken, the cost of building green continues to plummet and the future

holds the prospect of a cost-neutral par with traditional buildings.

» Return on investment, especially for people with a short-term finan- cial stake in a building project – Those planning to make a windfall prof-

it on a short-term investment in a green

building will probably want to invest in

a different kind of project. The advan-

tages of building green are primarily vested in long-term lifecycle benefits.

» Operations and management (O&M) planning for the greening of existing buildings – O&M planning is an important element in high-perform- ance buildings. Building systems do not operate effectively by themselves.

8

b & c

southwest

fall

2008