I wasn’t able to find building images or renderings, but in noteworthy news, The Weather Channel recently announced plans to seek LEED Silver certification for its new, 12,500 sf HD studio. According to Debora Wilson, president of The Weather Channel, "Constructing a new facility in a way that is environmentally responsible sends a strong message about our commitment to helping people learn more about the issues that the public faces in regards to the environment. We are extending our ongoing mission of keeping our viewers informed and safe during severe weather to a similar role in regards to matters of safety and well-being for life on this planet." The Weather Channel’s green building plans coincide with an overall corporate goal to be more environmentally conscious and some planned features include energy efficient lighting, low-VOC paints and sealants, and water saving fixtures and plumbing. Completion is expected by February 2008.
Environmentalism is all the rage right now, isn’t it? It’s good, but we need to sift through some of the noise and clearly identify correct information. With respect to the costs of green building, depending on who you talk to, it’s possible to get conflicting information. To prove this point, try to survey a couple real estate pros (informally, of course) and you may be surprised by what you hear. When I’m around seasoned real estate pros, I make it point to ask them what they think about green building. The information is rarely consistent. Below, we have three legitimate reports seeking to clarify the discussion on green building costs. These reports are free, and by all means, email this post around to your real estate professional friends. Let’s make this information viral. Let’s get past any misunderstandings and start building better, more efficient buildings.
- Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Business Realities and Opportunities, Summary Report, World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Although focusing more on energy efficiency in buildings (as opposed to the entire environmental picture of a building), this report found, among other things, that the costs of green building are often misunderstood, and even overestimated by as much as 300%.
- Cost of Green Revisited: Reexamining the Feasibility and Cost Impact of Sustainable Design in the Light of Increased Market Adoption, Davis Langdon. Using the USGBC’s LEED system as a parameter, this report found that there is no significant difference in average costs for green buildings as compared to non-green buildings.
- Green Buildings and the Bottom Line: The ‘New Reality’ of Green Building, From Environmental Cause to Financial Opportunity, Building Design + Construction. Assessing all the different product types individually, this white paper discusses the costs and benefits of green buildings and presents a 10-point action plan for consideration by all the green building stakeholders.
I think we’re at the point where the information will start to take hold and green building practices will spread. It will gather such momentum that all the players in the real estate world, whether lenders, investors, contractors, engineers, architects, lawyers, owners, or developers, will have a seat at the table and will push for smarter, greener decisions.
The Skystream here cost about $13k (including installation) and is intended to provide roughly 30-70% of the home’s energy, depending on weather conditions. The video is interesting in that it shows the community reaction to the turbine: they love it. Skystream turbines are good for places that have more than 1/2 acre of land and zoning that allows structures more than 42 feet tall. Experts say the system should pay for itself over time, even without Michigan incentives. Also visit the Skystream website.
- A new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development found that the costs of green building are often misunderstood, and even overestimated by as much as 300%.
- HGTV announces the Green Home Giveaway – they will build a home somewhere using eco-friendly materials and give it away in 2008.
- Sun Microsystems completes next-generation, energy-efficient datacenters in California, the U.K, and India — they expect to save over $1.1 million in energy costs per year.
- Developing special lending programs dedicated to energy efficiency projects is a good way for banks to support green endeavors.
- With climate change and 80% of the world’s population living less than 30 miles from a coastline, Discovery talks about green principles in building a modern city.
I’d like to make it easy for you to attend West Coast Green 2007. This will mark our 1st year as a premiere Media Partner with the nation’s largest residential green building conference and trade show. The event takes place on September 20-22, 2007, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. The first two days of the conference are reserved for trade only, and on day three, the doors open to homeowners.
Taking a walk on the trade show floor of West Coast Green will provide you with hundreds of ideas on how to green your home; from simple items like eco-friendly paints and sustainable home furnishings to building a green home from the ground up. West Coast Green has gone the distance to find and showcase the best green building resources, exhibits, trainings, presentations, and educational tracks, while ensuring you have an unparalleled experience.
Highlights for 2007 include:
- 275 exhibitors displaying the latest in green design and building products
- 250 renowned speakers and visionaries
- The Futures Room – filled with green innovations soon to come
- Green Built Pre-fabricated Home – designed by Michelle Kaufmann and built by Extreme Homes, to be placed on City County Plaza directly across from West Coast Green for the duration of the conference and will be open for West Coast Green attendees to tour (the mkLotus).
As a special gift, I’m proud to announce, by the generosity of West Coast Green, a 20% discount on your full conference registration. Please enter the following promotional code when registering to receive discount: jg3554. Register at West Coast Green or call 1-800-724-4880.
Pretty much everyone is talking about green roofs these days, so I thought I would round up a few of the good articles. Just as a refresher, back in March, I wrote an article summarizing the costs and benefits of green roofing. The benefits are numerous in comparison to the costs, but a green roof may not be right for every application. I'll let you decide, but to get you thinking, here are some of the most thorough articles on green roofing that I've read and studied. There's also some eye candy with each, too.
- Green Roofs + 13 pages of pictures, Andrea Ford.
- Green Roofs: An Introduction with Pretty Pictures, Philip Proefrock
- Green Roofs: For Healthy Australian Cities
- Green Roofs: A Primer, Lloyd Alter
- Green Roofs, Jill Fehrenbacher
- Sod Roof Doghouse, Kitty Bartholomew
Also, read other articles about projects involving green roofs in our archives.