is Still Going Green in 2008
Green was a topic of excitement during an otherwise bleak constructino
outlook for 2008 during McGraw-Hill Construction's Outlook 2008
Executive Conference yesterday in Washington, D.C.
When asked, "what's the most exciting thing coming," most agreed
on one topic: "green, green, green," as Susan Kennedy, director
of marketing, Sloan Valve Co., said. But that's not to say there
aren't challenges associated with the green movement.
"For green, the real challenge is in [transforming] existing buildings,"
said Brad Haeberle, vice president, marketing, Siemens Building
Technologies Inc. We're just not there."
Shortly after the panel discussion an entire session was devoted
to this topic. Rick Fedrizzi, president of the U.S. Green Building
Council, gave a green construction outlook for 2008. He said the
key to getting buy in for green buildings is to have a strong business
case. For example focus on items such as tenant retention for green
buildings and provide proven facts:
- Students in green schools perform 20 percent better on tests
than students in other schools;
- Patients in green hospitals are leaving two and a half days
earlier than patients in other hospitals;
- Shoppers are more relaxed in green retail stores where factors
such as daylighting and improved air quality plays a role, thus
they buy more.
"These human performance factors are the smoking gun when it comes
to building green," said Fedrizzi.
While many may think building green has high costs he quickly addressed
"The number one mistruth is that it costs more to build green.
There is study upon study that proves that for the first two levels
of LEED a building can be constructed for not a penny more," he
said. "A $4 investment in building green nets a $58 benefit per
square foot over 20 years."
He also pointed out that LEED buildings can reduce carbon omissions
by 40 percent. "This is what it's all about," he said.
"We are in the midst of the biggest societal shift since World
War II … "We're humans. We want to address these problems. We don't
want to leave a legacy of filth."
According to Robbert Murray, vice president of economic affairs
for McGraw-Hill, D.C. is leading the way in green building. In fact,
the new Nationals stadium in Washington, D.C., is attempting to
become the first baseball stadium to earn LEED certification. Green
construction is expected to continue its growth. The tipping point,
Murray says, is expected to come in a market shift over the next
three years. By 2009, 80 percent of corporate America is expected
to be engaged in green at least 15 percent of the time, and 20 percent
will be engaged in green 60 percent of the time.
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