Monday, December 1, 2008

Get on the Greenship Enterprise

It's green. It's environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, earth-friendly, planet positive! Or maybe it's bullshit.

A building isn't green just because you say it's green. You can incorporate green features, sure. But they have to be certifiable, sustainable, BS-proof.  

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known as LEED, is an example.

I'm watching a show on HGTV and the owners are saying the home is green. Uh huh. You're not Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, you can't just "make it so."

I ran into the same claim today while visiting a new building. A builder said it was green. Oh, I said, is it LEED-certified? Is it Energy Star? No answer. Next subject. 

There's a  new report out from the U.S. Department of Energy on the impact of (real) green buildings. 

The authors must be reading my blog, because they (have great taste in music?) say that LEED buildings are the only ones out there that are making the grade when it comes to staving off the worst effects of climate change. 

On average, LEED buildings consume about 25 percent less energy than conventional buildings. The buildings cost more to build, but can you put a price on the planet? And if you can, you can expect the buildings to pay you back in time with lower utility bills (and less guilt?).

The moral of this post: Check the label. Regulators should listen up and green their building codes, too.

1 comment:

Kristina said...

Ah yes, "greenwashing". Everything's environmentally friendly these days, even chemical cleaners in plastic bottles because there's a daisy on the label.