There exists a notion that being “green” means spending “green.” Certainly this has proven to be the case in early efforts at attaining awards. Not every project has a good shot at winning an award. Not every owner has the patience to seek an award. Not every architect, engineer, or constructor has the determination to jump through the appropriate hoops to earn certification. Still, as time goes on, more and more architects, engineers, and constructors see a value in building green.
The learning curve is steep initially, but then that is true of most learning curves. Designers and constructors who have gone through the process find the second time easier, the third time easier still, and, before long, they have figured out how to turn a profit by working green. Those firms that have embraced sustainability have learned that it can be done profitably, if done intelligently.
Sustainable design/build should lower operating costs through decreasing energy usage; require smaller mechanical and electrical systems; and require longer maintenance cycles. Sustainable design/build should also lower absenteeism by producing a more healthful environment and provide a more productive work force by maintaining a cleaner, better lighted, more comfortable workplace. Sustainable design/build can result in lower overall project costs first if good planning identifies a menu of “achievable” LEED points, particularly those that enjoy energy, waste, and/or tax incentives.
From: “The Green Clean Laboratory”