Is Green Building Cocktail Conversation?

We are all guilty.  We have stood by and seen and heard green conversations work their way through cocktail and dinner parties.  We have considered the futures of our children and grandchildren and then gone about our way wondering what will become of the environment of our offspring.  The good news is that it is not too late to do something about it by putting that cocktail conversation to work.  The better news is that going green saves money and can even reap profits for those who join the green movement now.Cities like Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles have adopted green initiatives that not only address health and environmental issues, but also reduce taxpayer burdens by increasing energy efficiency and reducing the strain on what is now recognized to be a diminishing flow of natural resources.  Essentially, green building programs are now accomplishing every investor’s goal; a significant and high rate of return on investment.Los Angeles is replacing 140,000 streetlights and will generate $60 million in taxpayer savings.  San Jose’s new green airport renovation program has saved taxpayers more than $35,000 in just five months just by increasing the efficiency of the cooling system.  Around the country similar success stories emphasize the need to stress the importance of LEED® certifications and LEED® ratings.The LEED® rating system sets the benchmark for design, construction and efficiency in six areas:•    New construction•    Existing buildings•    Commercial interiors•    Core and Shell•    Residential interiors•    Neighborhood developmentThink what a different world it would be if every new building achieved a silver LEED® rating.  That seems such a practical and reasonable goal, yet less than 7500 exiting buildings in the U.S. are LEED® certified.Improvements in green design have begun to capitalize on energy savings and the timing could not be better.  In a struggling economy, starving for jobs, the stimulus package places a high emphasis on green programs, green jobs and green savings.  We know through experience that entrepreneurs will follow the money trail and that the money trail leads through green programs straight to the bottom line.  When green projects and the bottom line merge, good things will happen.

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