Center for the Built Environment
Building a case for building performance
- Author(s): Lehrer, David
- et al.
You have seen the facts before. Americans make up less than 5% of the world’s population, yet consume 25% of the earth’s resources and create 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases. We are also told that the construction and operation of buildings are major contributors to this problem, and that as building industry professionals we have a major responsibility to improve the performance of the buildings and environments that we create.
Although a growing number of states and municipalities have adopted energy efficiency and green building initiatives, the private sector has been very slow to accept this responsibility. Obviously there are several reasons for this. One factor may be the generally conservative, risk-averse nature of the building industry. As service providers we must strive to achieve the goals of our clients, many of them developers and building owners primarily concerned about controlling first costs, and less concerned about a building’s future operating cost and performance. For this section of the building industry to adopt a progressive approach to sustainable design, we will need to make a persuasive business case for sustainable design.