Why Build Green?


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Understanding the design, certification, and costs of green buildings

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  • The reasons for building green vary widely, but its important to note that there are environmental, social, and economic reasons for doing it.
  • We use these terms interchangeably, even though they don’t mean exactly the same thing. But what they do mean is we have better buildings that are healthy, energy efficient, and cost-efficient.
  • Green is a very popular word – we see it all over the media, especially in advertising. We also hear the terms eco-friendly & environmentally-friendly a lot – the term “eco” is being used almost as much as “green”. It’s important to understand what green means in the context that it’s being used, and to look out for greenwashing – a lot of products and companies claim to be green, but are they really?
  • When we step back and look at the bigger picture, what we’re talking about is sustainability. We may use rating systems like LEED to verify what we’re doing, but what we’re striving for is environmental sustainability. Broader term that encompasses more than energy and materials. Best-known definition comes from the Brundtland Commission in 1987….
  • Green building is defined by the US Green Building Council in this way:
  • We choose to build green because buildings have a tremendous impact on the environment, the economy, our communities and our health. We spend an average of 90% of our time indoors, so we have to make sure that’s a healthy place to be. Research gathered by the USGBC indicates that buildings account for….
  • If we build greener buildings, we can have an impact.
  • What makes a building green? We have to design, renovate and construct with the environment in mind from the very beginning. Using healthier materials Taking advantage of the sun and wind Energy use and renewable sources Reducing water use and other resources Waste reduction and using recyclable materials
  • I can tell my clients that what I’ve designed for them is green, and if they trust my opinion, we’re good. What happens when we need to prove it? To get funding? Marketing to potential tenants? We may have to use a standard like one of these. Energy Star has certified over 1 million homes. LEED, which I’ll talk more about in a moment, is the most commonly used green rating system. The National Association of Home Builders has an excellent green rating program for residential construction. The Green Building Initiative has the Green Globes rating system. The Living Building Challenge goes beyond where all of these systems are and demands that you meet all of its requirements – net-zero energy, no toxic materials, etc. The Omega Center for Sustainability in the Hudson Valley is pursuing LBC certification.
  • To promote green building, the USGBC created its LEED rating system in 2000.
  • A project is awarded a certification level based upon how many points it achieves, from the lowest level of Certified to the highest of Platinum.
  • In the 10 years since it was released, LEED has continued to grow… LEED accreditation for professionals… In the Buffalo/Niagara region we have 16 certified buildings and more than 20 in the design or construction stages.
  • Newest LEED certified project
  • Here is the list of other LEED certified projects in this region.
  • More governments, institutions and corporations are beginning to require that their buildings meet some accepted green standard. Usually it’s LEED. The Federal Government has set a mandate for green building with an Executive Order signed last fall by the President that sets specific targets for energy, water and waste reduction for federal buildings. Specific government departments also have set standards, including GSA. New York State Executive Order 111 sets LEED Silver as the standard for all state projects. Erie County - The Green Buildings Act : applies to all County projects over 2500 square feet. The new administration building at the Botanical Gardens has been designed to meet that requirement. City of Buffalo has no specific standard for green building, but it is addressing environmental issues such as energy conservation, durability of products and materials, and dealing with environmental hazards on its properties.
  • I keep hearing figures of 10, 20, even 30% premiums for building green. We now have a body of research that backs it up – green building does not have to cost more. So why do so many people think green design costs a lot? It’s because we don’t think in the long term when it comes to buildings. Construction budgets are based on what it costs to build, not what it costs to maintain the building over its lifetime. Green and sustainable design are about the life of the building: we get better buildings for the long-term. Sustainability is an investment in the future. So we have to start thinking about costs in the same way. Davis Langdon is a cost management consulting firm that has conducted two studies into the construction costs of LEED and non-LEED projects.
  • What they found in their 2004 study was proven again in the 2007 report…..
  • The keys to keeping costs under control on a green building – in fact, on any building – are these… Again, this is about construction cost – there is a cost to certify a building, and that varies depending on a lot of factors. The construction cost of a green building depends on the same factors – the design team, location , type of building, size.
  • Green building continues to grow. In the 20 years that I’ve been involved with it, I’ve seen huge changes – especially within the past 5 years. We seem to have turned a corner and now sustainability is being seen not as a fad, but as a reality. Our region has been a little slower than other parts of the country to see this kind of growth in green building, but it’s changing. Last September, I gave a presentation on the LEED certified buildings in WNY and we had 10. In June, I revised that presentation to 16.
  • So, why should we build green? It make sense on many levels – environmental, economic, and social. Green buildings are good for our communities, for local business, and for our health. They are good for the planet, and they are not just the future – they are NOW.
  • It isn’t about certifications or standards or costs – in the end, it’s about building better. Thank you…..
  • Why Build Green?

    1. 1. Understanding the Design, Certification & Cost of Green Buildings Roxanne Button AIA, LEED AP Why Build Green?
    2. 2. <ul><li>Environmental, Social, & Economic Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Saves money </li></ul><ul><li>Saves energy & resources </li></ul><ul><li>Healthier buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Increased property value </li></ul><ul><li>Increased ROI </li></ul><ul><li>Right thing to do </li></ul><ul><li>Helps the environment </li></ul>Why build green? The W!ld Center, Adirondacks LEED-NC 2.2 Silver
    3. 3. <ul><li>Not exactly the same, but they mean that we get better buildings: </li></ul><ul><li>Healthier to be in </li></ul><ul><li>More energy- and resource-efficient </li></ul><ul><li>More cost-efficient to own and operate </li></ul>Green? Sustainable? LEED? Starbucks in Manhattan, LEED for Retail
    4. 4. Green is a big, all-encompassing term that gets applied to everything from shopping bags & dry-cleaning to cars & buildings. There is no standard definition of what “green” really means, but it refers to environmentally-friendly products and practices. Beware of “greenwashing”…. Green is everywhere… Buffalo’s Urban Valet is now using green reusable & recycled dry-cleaning bags
    5. 5. “ Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” - Our Common Future , World Commission on Environment & Development report, 1987, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland Sustainable Development
    6. 6. USGBC: Design and construction practices that meet specified standards, resolving much of the negative impact of buildings on their occupants and on the environment Site Planning Indoor Environmental Quality Water Management Material Use Energy & Atmosphere What is green building?
    7. 9. What makes it green? <ul><li>Integrate sustainability from the very beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy indoor materials </li></ul><ul><li>Orient the building towards the sun and wind for natural light and ventilation </li></ul><ul><li>Energy conservation – reduce demand </li></ul><ul><li>Choose renewable energy sources </li></ul><ul><li>Save water & resources </li></ul>
    8. 10. Certifying green
    9. 11. <ul><li>Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluates a design against a specific set of standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Projects achieve points in 7 categories to earn a rating. </li></ul><ul><li>Prerequisites are required. </li></ul><ul><li>Credits are optional. </li></ul><ul><li>Points totals are based on the number of credits that the project meets. </li></ul>LEED ® Green Rating System
    10. 12. <ul><li>Four Levels: </li></ul><ul><li>Platinum: 80-110 points </li></ul><ul><li>Gold: 60-79 points </li></ul><ul><li>Silver: 50-59 points </li></ul><ul><li>Certified: 40-49 points </li></ul>LEED ® Certification <ul><li>7 Categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Water Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Energy & Atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Materials & Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Indoor Environmental Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation & Design Process </li></ul><ul><li>Regionalization </li></ul>
    11. 13. LEED ® by the numbers <ul><li>National LEED ® Statistics – June 2010: </li></ul><ul><li>Registered projects: 32,210 </li></ul><ul><li>Certified projects: 7,522 </li></ul><ul><li>LEED Accredited Professionals: 155,000 </li></ul><ul><li>16 LEED ® Certified buildings in Western New York: </li></ul><ul><li>Certified: 8 (1 through a Pilot) </li></ul><ul><li>Silver: 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Gold: 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Platinum: 1 </li></ul>
    12. 14. Creekside Village Community Center, SUNY Buffalo First LEED ® Certified Project in WNY and first in SUNY system Photos: Katie Ingraham, UB <ul><li>LEED ® NC Version 2.0, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Access to public transit </li></ul><ul><li>Bike storage & changing rooms </li></ul><ul><li>No irrigation </li></ul><ul><li>30% improvement on energy performance </li></ul><ul><li>Green power </li></ul><ul><li>Local/regional materials </li></ul><ul><li>Low-emitting materials </li></ul>
    13. 15. Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo First LEED ® Art Museum in New York / Silver <ul><li>LEED ® NC Version 2.1, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Access to public transit </li></ul><ul><li>Power receptacles for electric vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>40% reduction in water use </li></ul><ul><li>No potable water for irrigation </li></ul><ul><li>Recycled content materials </li></ul><ul><li>Low-emitting materials </li></ul>
    14. 16. Ecology & Environment Corporate Headquarters, Lancaster LEED ® for Existing Buildings / Platinum Photo: Ecology & Environment <ul><li>LEED ® EB Version 2.0, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Bike racks and changing rooms </li></ul><ul><li>Car pooling & telecommuting </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced site disturbance – protection of open space </li></ul><ul><li>Stormwater management </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>Green cleaning </li></ul><ul><li>Occupant recycling </li></ul><ul><li>4 Innovation credits: Green building education, Biophilic design, Exemplary performance for site disturbance, enhanced carpooling </li></ul>
    15. 17. Research & Information Commons, Daemen College LEED ® for New Construction / Gold Photos: Darrell Moore, Daemen College <ul><li>LEED ® NC Version 2.1, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved 39 out of 69 points </li></ul><ul><li>Occupancy sensors for lighting </li></ul><ul><li>Energy Star compliant reflective roofing </li></ul><ul><li>Recycled and low-VOC materials </li></ul><ul><li>Energy and water conservation measures </li></ul><ul><li>Daylighting </li></ul>
    16. 18. LEED ® Certified: <ul><li>Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Lewiston – Certified, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Co., Williamsville – Certified, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>OGSI Audubon Machinery Corporation, North Tonawanda – Certified, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Dunn Tire, Airport Commerce Park, Cheektowaga – Certified, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Health Now New York, Downtown Buffalo – Silver, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Niagara Falls Municipal Complex – Certified, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Gerster Trane, 45 Earhart Drive, Buffalo – Certified, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Health Now New York, Buffalo – Silver, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Life Sciences Center, SUNY Buffalo – Silver, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>CFNA, Amherst – Certified, 2009 (LEED for Retail Pilot) </li></ul><ul><li>Dresser Rand Office, Olean – Gold, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>J.W. Danforth Office & Warehouse, Tonawanda – Silver, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>South Lockport Medical Campus – Silver, 2010 </li></ul>
    17. 19. Who’s asking for Green Design? <ul><li>33 states & 202 local governments </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations, Universities & Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GSA: LEED Silver standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hired Chief Greening Officer in June </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New York State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EO 111: LEED Silver standard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (ASHRAE standards) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Erie County </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Green Buildings Act, 2007: use LEED on all projects > 2500 GSF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffalo: no green building standard - yet </li></ul></ul>
    18. 20. Cost of Green Design “ People who are green averse are happy to relate anecdotes of premiums in excess of 30% to make their buildings green. These numbers are simply not, however, borne out by the facts….” - Peter Morris, Davis Langdon Morrisania Homes, NYC – LEED for Homes - Silver “ Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budget Methodology”, Davis Langdon, 2004. “ Cost of Green Revisited”, Davis Langdon, 2007.
    19. 21. Cost of Green Design <ul><li>Many projects achieved LEED certification within their budgets and in the same cost range as non-LEED projects. </li></ul><ul><li>While construction costs have risen dramatically in the past 5 years, projects are still achieving LEED certification. </li></ul><ul><li>The idea that green is an added feature continues to be a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Drury University Sustainable Habitat House , Springfield, Missouri – </li></ul><ul><li>LEED for Homes - Platinum </li></ul><ul><li>There is no significant difference in average costs for green buildings as compared to non-green buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>A LEED-certified building can be built for an average of 2% more in upfront costs. </li></ul>
    20. 22. Cost of Green Design <ul><li>An experienced, integrated project team. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate green design early. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand costs – look beyond first-costs, consider life cycle costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Use simple approaches to sustainability – low cost options. </li></ul><ul><li>Winning design by Philadelphia firm Onion Flats for Syracuse </li></ul><ul><li>University’s From the Ground Up Competition. </li></ul><ul><li>There are low- and high-cost green and non-green buildings. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the cost question. </li></ul><ul><li>Cost differences are more likely driven by building type. </li></ul>
    21. 23. Green is growing “ Improving performance, saving money and increasing health and productivity are basic business objectives.” - Jason McLennan AIA, Cascadia Green Building Council <ul><li>Source: EL Insights, July 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Annual market for green building products & services: $36-49 billion (McGraw Hill, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Financial incentives: federal (stimulus), state (NYSERDA) </li></ul><ul><li>Green renovation will be a fast-growing market </li></ul>
    22. 24. Green & sustainable design is good design. Green & sustainable design is good for business, especially local companies. Green design is good for our communities. So, why build green? Niagara Falls Municipal Complex, LEED Certified. Photo: Ciminelli Development Company
    23. 25. So, why build green? Photo: SunEdison
    24. 26. Roxanne Button AIA, LEED AP U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter [email_address] Questions?
    25. 27. Tracie Hall Executive Director U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter t [email_address] 315.729.9067 Questions?