The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or
Some contractors are progressively acting on the green building movement. They are showing real leadership on LEED. Everyone should be pleased as everyone wins. However, not all contractors, designers and owners are investing themselves in the effort.
Again, our grandchildren may be talking to us about this in the near future.
I can only speak about the contracting community as it is where I spend my professional time.
Contractors sense there is irrationality in this market. Many people are suddenly involved claiming to have real expertise in a movement which is less than a decade old. Construction firms are not sure who the experts are. That is, those to trust in stewarding contractor’s on a efficient and effective path to building green work. Although, it is exciting that everyone predicts LEED will only increase in volume long term. Soberly, construction companies have been burned by popular business trends when consultants have not been as helpful as advertised but, certainly made sure professional billing was collected.
Most contractors are small. 65% are ten employees or less and 90+% have 100 employees and less. These companies very sensitive to big investments even though they (contractors) may be noble and forward thinking. Most are solving for their financial security. Any plan has to include addressing the financial focus and potential fiscal strain that LEED may require.
Here is one way to look at the Green Building Effort
1. The first principal is to be local. When in the forest build from trees. When in the clay, build from the ground. Contrast common sense with moving materials hundreds miles and the resulting energy expense.
2. The second principal is to make buildings and resulting infrastructure from low energy materials, both in manufacture and / or heat transfer. Block, brick, recycled asphalt, demolished concrete and hay bales are old but, practical examples.
3. The third is to keep the landfills from filling up. The environmental danger is obvious but, using items that have a World War II utility (reuse, repair, recycle etc) is not a bad idea.
We hope that there will not come a time when these are mandated but, if people are not sensitive to the earth, there will be no other choice
We are borrowing the present from our grandchildren. They will certainly lets know their opinion when they are of an age to speak to us as adults.