Is sustainability always best?
A recent blog post considered the potential downfalls of designing for sustainability. Have you ever set out to design for LEED certification and chosen not to because of economic or practical factors?
7% - No, I’ve never encountered these issues when designing for sustainability
28% - I always design buildings for sustainability
65% - Yes, depending on the facility, sustainable design might not always be best
Owners tend to speak out of both sides of their mouth. They stress the need to be environmentally conscious but if it's not Code they won't pay for the construction cost. I currently have a project but the owner has decided to not install the green roof after it's already been incorporated into the Documents and approved. Now we have to back peddle change the roofing, etc. They don't want to hear about life cycle cost, long term energy savings, reduced HVAC loads, etc. It's all about initial bottom line for the Owners.
We've also have projects that are designed following LEED, but the client chooses not to pursue certification because of the high cost of the paperwork.
Until LEED becomes performance based, good designers will be judged for their efforts to always incorporate sustainable design strategies. The LEED process has priced itself out of the healthcare and commercial markets
- We always design for sustainability, but the clients who express interest in LEED certification often don't want to pay for the administrative costs (very low, 1-2%).