Building Green: Convincing People to Build Efficiently

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The Hearst Tower in New York City is LEED Gold certified. It’s base is a repurposed old building and 90% of the structural steel is recycled material.

As a Building and Construction Technology major at UMass Amherst my area of expertise is in the construction of a built environment that does no harm to the environment or your utility bills. When coming into Marketing 301, the goal is to learn how to market green building technologies. Sometimes it can be quite difficult.

{Note: When talking about homes the same principles can apply to commercial and larger constructions}

What sounds better than having your cheapest bil be your electric bill? What sounds better than being able to tell people you’re house is good for the earth and a cutting edge piece of technology? You’d be interested wouldn’t you?…. The problem is when you look at the price tag this awesome house will end up costing, you may have second guesses. A LEED certified home (LEED being the the standards by which green buildings are rated) can cost twice as much as a traditional house. Moving onto commercial buildings the cost can seem insane.

This upfront cost is why the average large firm will only make 18% of its new constructions green and why most prospective home buyers won’t opt for it when they first hear it. However in reality these structures in the long run can actually cost less than traditional homes!

it9hqu3m3sy57cnb This house’s energy bills are almost negligible. Heat comes from the sun, cooling comes from the wind, electricity from solar panels, ect.

Going green pays itself off! When upgrading to sustainable systems external energy costs go way down, so do the bills in the process. Every month money that would’ve been spent on gas and electric to heat, cool, and light the building instead are saved entirely. Annually you’re saving hundreds even thousands every year to run your house. Project this over a couples years now and these annual savings add up. Eventually you’ve paid back the premium you paid for the green tech, a couple more years and you’ve paid off the entire house! After that your cost of housing is almost trivial compared to the rest of your life! A way of thinking about this is your paying upfront for the next few years the cost of running your homes. While owning the home you aren’t dealing with the stress of shelling out a lot of money every month.

Another added benefit of these structures is that they are straight up more pleasant to live and work in! In the example below ugly and energy guzzling fluorescent lighting is replaced by natural sunlight in this library:

James B. Hunt Jr. Library by Snøhetta12 James B. Hunt Jr Library by Snøhetta

So I gave only a fraction of reasons why green buildings are a good choice. Indeed if you were to look into it you would be astounded by what they have to offer!

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