There's a Lot of Money to be made in Green Building

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**That is if it's "Really" Green!

'Green' building is expected to grow

Researchers from McGraw-Hill Construction say it will be worth $12 billion to $20 billion this year, or 6$ to 10% of the market.
July 27, 2008

If the interest in all things green is a fad, it's a fad with legs, according to builders included in a recent survey.

Research from McGraw-Hill Construction suggests that broadly defined "green" building is expected to be worth $12 billion to $20 billion this year, or 6% to 10% of the market. That's expected to double in five years, according to the researchers.

Along the way, the LEED acronym (it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is becoming increasingly familiar to consumers: More than 1,500 buildings have received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council since the program was introduced in 2000, and more than 11,000 are seeking the designation, according to the council, a nonprofit that administers the program.

LEED attempts to quantify sustainable site development, water usage, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and other "green" factors.

Recently, the council announced plans to expand LEED certification to subdivisions and neighborhoods. The neighborhood designation has been a pilot program for about a year and will expand in earnest in mid-2009, according to a spokesman for the council.

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Mary Umberger
LA Times

The only way to confirm and actually verify that your home or LEED certified building is what they say it is, ... Insulated & Energy Efficient, is to use Infrared Thermography. These buildings should be scanned to confirm their thermal barriers. Stop throwing away Money through Gaps, Holes and complete Voids of insulation in your walls and ceilings. Only a Thermal Scan can tell you the truth about the tightness of your building.

It Can't be "Certified" Unless it's Infrared Certified!!

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Changes proposed to LEED certification make energy savings a priority

**LEED properties are currently NOT scanned with Infrared. Without a professional Infrared Thermal Scan, a LEED building is NOT fully certified.

Developers of commercial buildings would have to abide by a new set of rules to get LEED certification under changes being considered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The new rules would streamline the process for achieving LEED certification and put greater emphasis on saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

"The credits were re-weighted to encourage people to go after those that are going to change the building's performance," said Judith Webb, a spokeswoman for the U.S. GBC in Washington, D.C.

A 30-day public comment period on the proposed rules ended in late June. Another comment period will begin sometime in August. The changes would ultimately have to be approved by the 16,000-plus members of the U.S. GBC. That vote could occur in October.

If approved, the new rules would take effect in January.

Rick Pfielsticker, a LEED-accredited architect at Einhorn Yaffee & Prescott in Albany, N.Y., said the changes would bring the point system in line with the push toward improving energy efficiency.

"The way energy costs have risen, this is a good thing," Pfielsticker said.

EYP has designed nearly a dozen buildings that have received LEED certification, he said. Many more meet the U.S. GBC standards but developers don't want to pay the fees to become certified, he said.

LEED certification was created in 2000 to recognize buildings that reduce energy and water consumption, improve indoor air quality and promote sustainable site development. Points are awarded based on a number of factors. The greater the point total, the more prestigious the designation. Platinum is the highest rung on the ladder.

More than 1,500 buildings have received certification, and more than 11,000 are seeking it.

Certifications are available in eight categories: new construction, existing buildings, commercial interiors, core and shell, retail, schools, health care and homes. Another category, for neighborhood developments, is in the pilot stage.

Under the proposed changes, the maximum points available in each of the seven commercial categories would be 110 (the changes would not affect the home category).

In order to attain certification for new construction, a project would need 40 points. Silver would require 50 points, gold 60 points and platinum 80 points, according to Webb.

Under the current system, the maximum for new construction is 69 points; LEED certification is awarded for 26 points.

NAHB Wants Your "Green", ... to Go Green!$$$

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NAHB Urges Extension Of Energy Efficiency Tax Credits
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July 10, 2008 - Testifying today on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) before a House Small Business Committee hearing on “The Role of Green Technologies in Spurring Economic Growth,” Cincinnati builder Andrea Lucke urged Congress to extend the New Energy Efficient Home Credit, which was enacted in 2005 and expires at the end of the year.
“The nation’s home builders have the ability to profoundly affect sustainability and conserve precious natural resources and our environment,” Lucke said. NAHB members build about 80 percent of the new housing units in the United States.
Lucke, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati and vice president of Robert Lucke Homes, also updated hearing participants on the progress of the NAHB National Green Building Program and the new National Green Building Standard.
The tax credit “is a key market incentive that shifts builders towards significant energy savings in new home construction,” she said. “The program allows a $2,000 tax credit to a home builder who constructs a qualified new energy-efficient home, certified to achieve a 50 percent reduction in energy usage, thereby adding a highly efficient home that will likely remain part of the nation’s housing stock for 60 years or more.”
To encourage more builders to construct more energy-efficient housing, Lucke also urged members of Congress to increase the amount of the tax credit to pay for a bigger percentage of the higher building costs that are incurred when making a home 50 percent more energy-efficient.
Tax incentives work because they are market driven, Lucke said, and they are a much more effective approach than mandates.
“With a tax credit, important production decisions are still reserved for builders, buyers and home owners. Consequently, a tax credit program costs little to operate and does not require expensive administrative oversight that is usually associated with a mandate,” she said. “As Congress continues to look for ways to promote energy efficiency and sustainability, NAHB urges it to use incentives, rather than mandates, to encourage the growth of green technologies.”