The Strategist The Best Baby Gifts For 2 Year Olds Sustainable Green Development – Definitions, Strategies, and Implementation

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Sustainable Green Development – Definitions, Strategies, and Implementation

As a green building consultant, one of the biggest fundamental flaws I hear in the green building discussion is that green building costs more and is less profitable. Our goal is to help you design projects that are profitable AND green. Yes, you can be profitable and green at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive.

That said, one question still mystifies developers – what exactly is sustainable planning and development? What does sustainability mean? Why are we worried about things like climate change, environmental pollution and energy shortages? Why is everyone talking about sustainability? Is sustainable development advice just the latest craze? Is it just trendy to claim to be an eco expert and plant trees and switch to CFL bulbs to show proof?

Al Gore says, “There is a growing sense that we are reaching the limits of the Earth’s ability to support our civilization.” That is the popular view and the answer to all these questions is an obvious “no”. The earth’s climate is negatively affected and accelerating economic development undoubtedly leaves little for our future generations. The threat to our environment is real, clear and almost here. How can we minimize the damage? Leave a healthier earth for our future generations? The answer lies in sustainable planning and development.

How do we define it? The US Department of Energy defines sustainability as – “Sustainability is a strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that also benefit the local environment and quality of life.”

Christine Ervin, Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy defines sustainability as, “Sustainable development allows economic progress and environmental quality to be compatible goals. Communities find that sustainability strategies save taxpayer money, improve the profits of local businesses. , and make the community more livable.”

When Thomas Jefferson in 1789 made the following statement, he may not have been talking about sustainability as the term is used today, but it was a definite vision of what the future might look like if humanity refused to be reasonable with the gifts of nature, “So I says that the earth belongs to each… generation during its due course, fully and in its own right, no generation can incur debts greater than it can pay during its own existence.”

Robert Gilaman, President of Context Institute defines sustainability as “Sustainability refers to the ability of a society, ecosystem, or any such ongoing system to continue functioning into the indefinite future without being forced into decline through depletion… of essential resources.”

The answer must start at the ‘micro level’, with us, who use the ruins of nature to progressively urbanize. The solution to the problem must start with the way we ‘build’, ‘create’ and ‘remodel’ our cities, towns and homes. Green development initiatives are the first level solutions for sustainable development.

Solutions for sustainable development are required and they must be all-pervasive, long-term policies in which governments, societies and people participate. But before we start talking about the benefits of sustainable development, let’s look further, “How do we define sustainable development?”

Definitions are many but the most widely accepted definition of sustainability is “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” On a lighter, anonymous note, sustainability is “Growth without cheating our children.”

The definition of sustainable development may differ across geographies, cultures and countries. At the end of the day, however, it is a process that requires global participation at the individual level. Individual contribution is important because it forms the basis of the “Three pillars of sustainable development” – Economic, Environmental and Social.

The “social” pillar of people interacts with the other two – environmental and economic and in this sense drives the concept of sustainable development.

Since we use the environment for social and economic purposes, it is up to us to decide whether the current trade-off between “environment” and “economic” is beneficial to us in the long run. We can continue to use wood to build our houses and destroy all our forests or decide on healthier alternatives that help the economy grow and keep our planet safe and secure for our future generations to be able to build their houses. In this sense ‘people’ form the pivotal point in the whole picture. Therefore, by definition, you and I, the individual home – owner, builder or real estate developer are part of the basic principles of sustainable development – people, planet, profits.

So what steps can you take as a builder or homeowner to ensure sustainable real estate? You can do a lot. Changing a bulb to a CFL may not be the complete solution, but it is a definite first step towards it. As a homeowner you can look up sustainability topics online and examine the different choices you can make for a greener home. Informative articles about sustainable development abound on the web and there’s a lot you can learn about making environmentally sounder choices for that new house you’re planning to build or for that remodeling job you have in mind on your vacation home.

However, a greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of the community of real estate developers because if we build it “green” from scratch, we make a stronger impact. Contrary to popular belief, the role of private sector developers, in sustainable real estate development, is key and far more lucrative. Building “green” makes sense and is profitable. Moreover, sustainable real estate development has the thumbs up from the government – “In the not too distant future, all development will be green. Developers, builders and buyers will discover that green not only improves their pocketbooks, but also their health and the quality. of their lives. The developers who understand this first will have an advantage in a massive, emerging market…” – William S. Becker, Director, Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development, US Department of Energy.

The benefits of sustainability for a real estate developer or builder are numerous and make financial sense. Take the case of Wal-Mart, whose environmental initiatives are reaping benefits such as significantly reduced energy consumption and lower water bills. Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart’s vice president of prototype and new format development says they managed to do this by using “refrigerators that generate 50% less heat and are mercury-free, low-heat light sources, bathrooms with low-flow fixtures and waterless urinals that cut water bills in half.” .” Other Wal-Mart initiatives like “Daylighting” paid for themselves in less than 2 years.

If builders and developers incorporate similar systems in the design stage of a project, sustainable housing development can become a reality. Construction and architectural design that helps a homeowner reduce their monthly household expenses would, in itself, be a strong enough reason for a green builder’s products to be in demand.

The benefits of and the enhanced profit through sustainable real estate development are catching up and in the blink of an annual eye it can become the norm. Says Brenna Walraven, the president-elect of the National Building Owners and Managers Association and national property management director at San Antonio-based USAA Reality Co. “Within five years sustainable construction will become the norm, in part because of falling production costs. Retail. and the rest of commercial real estate must continue to push harder for green… it supports spending, it’s good business, and, more importantly, it is the right thing to do.”

Sustainable real estate development has traditionally been marred by the perception of increased costs for the developer. However, if sustainable building development initiatives are incorporated at the design stage, these costs can be completely eliminated, if not substantially reduced. For example, using combined heat and power generation can reduce the overall capital costs of community-based systems such as heating. Other costs incurred on initiatives such as low/double WCs and energy-efficient appliances are comparable, or similar in many cases, to their more popular standard versions.

Buildings use 35% of the nation’s energy each year. There are over 76 million residential and 5 million commercial buildings in the United States today and this total number is expected to increase by another 38 million by 2010. Can you imagine the strain on energy resources and the subsequent rise in purchasing power costs. for households at this time? Using sustainable housing development measures such as Daylighting and solar water heating would not only reduce this strain on energy resources but would also allow a developer to offer a client a more cost-effective housing option in the long term.

Another way developers and builders can benefit from sustainability is by using more economical, sustainable and ecological alternatives for construction and building materials. Using recycled content building materials can reduce construction costs thus increasing profits. There are direct financial benefits here and the costs, as explained above, can be minimized.

Innovation always pays dividends and builders and developers who use sustainable alternatives can be the ones to reap the benefits. There has never been a better time to adopt sustainable development measures and still be able to make a profit, than today. What we sow now, we will reap tomorrow and thus the case for sustainable development for real estate and builders.

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