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.
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.
- Why is new housing so big and lousy? Why do builders build these homes?
- Despite unwavering focus by the media, government and business, "going green" is only of moderate concern to most consumers, according to a recent research study.
- There is a reason why homes rot (hint: it has to do with much more than age).
- Shades of Green – with more large companies going green, the entire industry is under scrutiny.
It looks like Best Buy is upping its green cred with the recent announcement that starting in early- to mid-2008, all future Best Buy stores will be built to LEED standards. In all honesty, the retail sector has been kind of slow to adopt programs such as LEED. But this is starting to change. Best Buy has the in-house architect and senior facilities manager working on getting LEED accredited right now. Additionally, the company plans to get its eco-prototype store certified by the end of the year. The eco-prototype will have energy-efficient lighting, rainwater recycling, recycled content building materials, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and some sort of day lighting system.
Best Buy’s greening will go beyond the new stores also. Before the end of the fiscal year, it plans to increase its use of reusable containers by 30 percent; retrofit 20 percent of its 650+ stores with dimmable, zonable ceramic metal halide lights; and recycle 75,000 tons of cardboard, 1,800 tons of plastic, 15,000 tons of consumer electronics, and 27,500 tons of appliances. Via MBJ.
Overture Development Group has what I think is the best designed website for a real estate group that I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible looking. They’re 100% confident that green buildings are the future of real estate, too. Financial benefits? Check. Occupancy benefits? Check. Marketing and messaging appeal? Check. Good for the environment? Check. The Conservatory is in the final stages of receiving permitting approval from Osceola County, and once that’s squared away, we’re looking at completion in mid-2008 or so. When finished, The Conservatory at Celebration Place will have 178,000 sf of Class A+ office condominium space spread through six floors. And from the renderings, it looks like there will be a healthy dose of green roofing and solar panels, too.