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There Are Too Many Lies Surrounding Green Building

Old Building Techniques with New Names
Building techniques that have been around for decades are now being called Green. And you know what, they are. It’s just that good building strategies now have a name…Green. The market has moved to principles that we have used for decades.

Sustainable Building
Another popular phrase today is creating sustainable architecture. In other words, making buildings that require less maintenance and last longer. In years past, we saved clients money with reduced warranty and repair work and more importantly maintenance.

The life cycle cost of a building is important. With today’s economic trends, we can not afford to waste money maintaining you building.

These issues are critical to the life cycle cost.  In today’s economy, its not easy to throw money around maintaining the quality and value of your building.  It is necessary to understand the techniques that simplify construction. In turn, building costs are reduced. The residual benefit is a building that requires less maintenance and repair to maintain.

Conservation of Resources
Now for the next term, Conservation of Resources. It’s obvious, using less material saves the environment. The best benefit of all is reduced building costs. We’ve worked diligently for the last two decades saving clients money through efficient use of building materials.

Designing buildings to reduce material waste will conserve both material and labor.  It’s funny but you never hear about conservation of labor. It’s just as important as saving material. Saving on the amount of labor and material to construct your building will result in overall cost savings on your project.

Energy Efficiency
Finally, a term that hasn’t been renamed by those smart marketing guru’s. Even though the name haven’t changed, technology and building techniques have. This is an area that is fast moving. Principles and ideas we believed in just one to two decades ago have proven to be not only ineffective but instead waste energy. An example of an energy eater is, attic ventilation. Super ventilation of attics was once considered an excellent energy saving technique. Today, insulation is placed at the underside of the roof thus eliminating ventilation of the attic area.

 Liars Abound
This is where the crime begins. It’s called green washing. Basically companies make false claims about ‘green’ techniques that they use. Who’s to say what they are doing is not green.  There is nothing like the FDA to supervise these claims.

Then again we’re lucky.  Just think, how much would it cost the consumer if the government was involved in regulation. The whole idea of green would no longer be feasible.

Flawed Evaluation Systems
Of the systems for evaluating green building techniques, most all drop the ball. A point for this, two points for that and you achieve a rating. It all turns out to be a game of how to get points at the lowest cost. That is not what green is about. It is about reducing energy costs, conserving materials and creating buildings that last and are more livable.

Green for Green’s Sake
Now enters the opposite side of the spectrum, the ‘green’ consultant.  This is the person that loves the principles so much that cost isn’t an overly considered issue.  The idea of achieving specific certifications is the goal at hand.

Basically, this is a loosing proposition. Now you end up with big expenses that offer little gains. A lot of the time, single source suppliers that supply exotic materials and building systems are used. Ihis is a guarantee to cost over runs.

The Best Solution
Evaluate every material and installation method’s cost and compare it to the benefit gained.  Calculate the return on investment. Just how long will it take to recoup extra build costs through reduced energy bills? Determining these answers can be difficult. Knowing where to get ‘good’ information and how to evaluate it is important.

Bottom line, there is no perfect path. You need a team that can separate fact from fiction. This is where you will benefit the most. There are many techniques and principles that you can implement in order to reduce energy costs. Best of all, the best ones reduce cost in construction at the same.

To learn more about how to effectively go green and how the best San Diego Architects can help, give us a call at 619.xxx.xxxx.