In reading about changes to LEED thanks to this article from the Richmond VA based Richmond Times Dispatch, my mind turned to the idea of green building in the face of our current economic downturn.
One of the major changes to LEED recently, says the article, is a greater emphasis on energy conservation and the reduction of emissions that contribute to global climate change. This of course represents a benefit which isn’t exactly an instant pay-off to builders. And in this current economic climate, I am wondering if builders will begin to shy away from greater upfront costs to which LEED certification can, ahem, lead.
Yet, in the spirit of optimism, I like to think that greater awareness as to how the preservation of the environment is connected with smart investments is on the rise. Where economic downturns are cyclical, energy efficiency and the greater savings in the long term may well see this arc in the cycle come and go. And so in the long term, it seems to me that green building and the changes to LEED which centers on efficiency are smart investments worth the initial cost.
What does everyone else think?