It Ain't Easy Being Green

Green Buildings Go Untapped

An esteemed colleague noted recently in a cleverly titled opinion (“Green Is as Green DOES,” HPAC Engineering, Feb. 2003, Michael Ivanovich) that with all the talk about green buildings, more evidence of performance is needed. It’s little wonder that most HVAC contractors don’t consider it a strong selling point either.

However, how long will that last? The program is on the right track and beginning to provide credible evidence that should interest more building owners and contractors.

“Green” design refers to design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants in five broad areas:

  1. Sustainable sites
  2. Water efficiency
  3. Energy and atmosphere
  4. Materials and resources
  5. Indoor environmental quality (IEQ)

Does “green” conjure up images of solar power or sod roofs that aren’t high on your list? Okay. Energy efficiency and IEQ should catch your eye — it did the U.S. Green Building Council, the framers of the market transformation plan for green buildings.

Sick building syndrome has long been documented as a negative side effect of poor IEQ. HVAC contractors are in a unique position to have a positive impact on employee productivity, and reduce absenteeism and turnover.

If you have an interest in green buildings, but perhaps haven’t known where to start, go to www.usgbc.org. Click on “resources” at the top, then click on the PowerPoint presentation at the bottom of the page for information about the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program for new buildings.

If you’ve already tried to promote green benefits to building owners, but have met with resistance and nearly given up on the concept, consider the information scattered on this page.

Nearly 750 building projects are in the LEED program and it’s growing. Energy and IEQ represent the largest emphasis. Maybe it’s time you looked into it for your customers sake.

Mike Murphy,
editor-in-chief, at
mmurphy@penton.com
or call 216/931-9320.