Today the Cascadia Green Building Council published their findings of a financial study of Living Buildings. The study — officially named The Living Building Financial Study: The Effects of Climate, Building Type and Incentives on Creating the Buildings of Tomorrow — is extensive and we're still going through all the details. But there's one major takeaway that I noticed: investing in Living Buildings is the financially smart thing to do, especially for institutions, corporations, and homeowners looking to hold on to their real property assets for more than a few years. The study was put together by Cascadia, SERA Architects, Skanska USA Building, Gerding Edlen Development, Interface Engineers, and the New Buildings Institute (referred to below as "contributors"). Let's look a little deeper.
William McDonough* has always been a beacon and true voice of environmental leadership, despite what a recent magazine article may be trying to say. Case in point, just last week he warned of a lop-sided focus on carbon during his keynote speech at the ParkCity conference in London (organized by Cabe and Natural England). If you've ever listened to Mr. McDonough, you know his speeches are captivating — there's always a lot worth remembering — but in this most recent keynote, one particular sound bite has been making the internet rounds. He likened buildings to "killing machines:"
The Shelton Group just published results of a January 2009 telephone survey of 500 people, and the basic idea is this: Consumers are more interested in saving money than they are in saving the planet. When asked why they would consider buying energy-efficient products, 71% said they would do it to save money, 55% to save the environment, and 49% to protect the quality of life for future generations. With the economy as it is, the results aren't surprising, but in prior years, consumers actually said they were primarily interested in saving the environment.
If you're the kind of reader that still likes the tactile feel of a good book or magazine, you might as well go give a couple magazines a quick look. The March 2009 issue of Dwell focuses on the theme "Smarter, Greener, More Daring," while the April 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home looks at Green Renovations and the Greenest Little House in America. There's plenty of high-quality reading material packed into both … well worth the combined cost of $10.98, if you buy them together.
We’ve heard that the value of green construction starts could reach $140 billion by 2013, but what about the market for green building materials? Thanks to a report by the Freedonia Group, Inc., we have some numbers to look at. According to the Green Building Materials to 2013 report released in February 2009, U.S. demand for green building products is expected to reach $80 billion by 2013. The market is currently at $57 billion, representing a whopping average 7.2% annual increase over the next five years.