Why Green Building?

Cooper Union - A Green Building

Why Green Building?

This seems like such an odd question to me.

Let’s use an analogy from history. About 100 years ago car companies bought canals, trams and train lines in the UK and the USA in order to shut them down as competition to roads and cars.

Today, in some European countries, the governments have decided that since water and rail is 90% cheaper than transport, the NATIONS themselves will benefit from these savings, and thus they encourage this form of transportation mode.

We can think the same about wasting 90% of energy in houses, cars, commercial buildings, factories, roads and public systems (like duplicate bus systems –school buses that can be used to transport both children and the elderly– and list goes on).

Now our ARMY is changing their entire operation to be less dependent on transported fuels and supplies, as it has proven to be an Achilles heel in dealings around the world.

For us here, we are less competitive due to waste. We depend on high power equipment and buildings and roads that suck our energy when not built or maintained with the latest technology. Every corporation looks after their EVERY expense, and where it can be eliminated, it will.

Good Green is MORE comfortable, and less worrisome as fewer things go wrong.

Green Building would employ the sector that is currently most hurt. It can also be retrained, as Green Building does require people who have at least some education.

The most effective and quickest way would be to give people in the US army a continuing 3 months course in Green Building, and thus we would have a driven and motivated people all around US with this new skill set. The army could teach them how to build 80% or better projects, rather than current method of sealing leaky windows and adding new siding or shingles with new building paper for wind break. Even college graduates should have this training regardless of their degree as Green Building affects all of us. Building codes should require builders, mechanical and electrical contractors, and even building inspectors (yes indeed, as most of them do not understand) to pass a test.

What would the value of our country be if everyone participated? With the current oil price, housing would be 200 billion a year, commercial and industrial the same. Transportation related at least the same. This does not include the huge employment and technological advancements and related competitive products that would come out of this for us that we could sell around the world. All told a trillion a year – and what was the current budget dispute? – a fraction of this.

Currently NOBODY builds the right kind of roofs, windows with shades, or walls in US. When I ask about the equipment being installed, or how much energy it consumes there is generally no answer, except on the occasional single project by a very rare architect and client combination. Even on my own projects, I have to create a WILLING construction team myself in order to make it happen.

Tapani Talo, AIA

NY Super Studio Architects, New York provides sustainable building solutions. We are proud to be a part of the Green Building movement. For more information on Green Building, contact us at 914-645-2940.

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