March 30, 2012
When is going green a sound investment, and is it ever the wrong move? This recent blog post from the Green Real Estate Law Journal reported on a new study citing evidence against the market value of pursuing green building certifications in certain geographical/geopolitical areas, or on certain project types. As it made the rounds at Brightworks, one of our schools of thought could be summed up as, “So there is no ‘one size fits all’ green building solution for everyone…and this is news?”
The study focused on a small group of industrial buildings that underperformed their “non-green” peers – an effect which was especially pronounced in politically conservative counties. This runs contrary to more common studies showing increased value tied to green building. It asked, “…If green rental premiums are attributable to the branding of space, why would industrial warehouse facilities…benefit? Alternatively, if energy efficiency drives green premia, such effects may well be more pronounced within the industrial sector.” Exploring questions like these with clients is the foundation of our work, because the business case for sustainability is different for everyone.
These two charts from our Business Case for Sustainability presentation (you can read our related article or view the presentation deck on SlideShare) present sample breakdowns of how the business benefits of green building might look different for two different buildings – an owner occupied building versus a speculative building meant to be sold.
Owner Occupied Building
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March 7, 2012
By Dave Newman, Senior Strategist
The humble supply chain will undergo a dramatic change as our energy network and systems transition from oil (fossil fuel) to renewable energy. Which begs the question: Is your company ready?
A business’ success or failure always depends on its ability to source and deliver products and services to the marketplace. Let’s look at how that delivery has historically taken place, how it will change as our energy network changes and how smart companies are preparing themselves.
Supply Chain Evolution
A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources that move a product from a company or supplier to the customer. Picture a relay race of many runners: Each participant moves the relay baton until it reaches the finish line or, in this case, the marketplace where the product can be purchased.
Reviewing the evolution of the supply chain gives us a valuable foundation to discover what it may look like in the future.
Pre-Industrial Supply Chain
Before the industrial revolution, most people grew, raised or hunted for their food. All basic needs were available in the nearby town mercantile. In early America, some products were imported from European nations, but they tended to be expensive and were available only to the more affluent and urban populations. Goods traveled by truly sustainable supply chains – across oceans via sailing vessels powered by winds and currents, and locally via horse-drawn wagons.
Pre-Industrial Supply Chain: Companies, Manufacturing and the Marketplace in One Location
March 5, 2012
By Dennis Lynch, VP, Sustainable Buildings Group
The other day an architect started a conversation with Brightworks about green building by saying he was not in favor of LEED and didn’t see the value in it for his firms’ clients. As our conversation continued, he related a few instances where he was able to interest his clients in at least considering some sustainable features for their building design. By the end, he confessed he did want to build more sustainably more often. His question to us was: “How do I get started?”
After reflecting on this question for some time, I realized you can begin building green in several ways. You can start with something easy, something strategic or something meaningful that makes the changes most valuable to you. Each entry point opens the door to more action, and each will suit a different type of business.
Start! Image via The Lost Jacket
Start with Easy and Inexpensive
My very first thought in response to his question was: Why not try greener alternatives that will have little or no cost? Recycled carpet to reduce waste and low-VOC paints and adhesives to keep toxic chemicals out of the building are easy substitutions. You’re already specifying carpet and paint, so just specify something greener. There are probably a dozen items like these you can easily incorporate into your design and construction.
Start with Strategy
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