Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leed versus Other Options

Stephen Del Percio, one of the attorneys I follow on Twitter, posted this article on possible alternatives to LEED certification, "Contractor Leads Attack Against Nashville’s LEED Legislation." I found this quote quite thought-provoking:

“This would allow an alternative that focuses on the performance of the building, not on the process of how you got to that performance,” Dominy told the Tennessean.

As I struggle with the constantly evolving world of green construction, that question keeps nagging at me. Will LEED be the only game in town five years from now? Should we all be jumping on the bandwagon to obtain our LEED credentials as new alternatives appear to be arising?

How "green" is green enough? At the end of the day, isn't performance really the most important issue? What about cost? In any construction project, there is always a cost-benefit analysis that goes on.

At a simple level, a couple of months ago I read an excellent post by a Massachusetts contractor, David West, http://meadowviewconstruction.blogspot.com/2009/02/replacing-those-old-windows.html about whether to replace old windows. His conclusion, at the end of the day, was that the cost of replacement windows could not be justified for the energy savings, and one could "tighten up" the windows with some simple fixes.

So, what are you going to do to keep up? Are you going to spend the money on LEED classes and the exam, or are you going to wait on the sidelines and see what prevails a few years from now?