More and more environmentally friendly green builders are joining the ranks of the socially responsible building industry. Great stuff, and why not build more energy efficient buildings, with materials that are made with the least pollution or impact to the environment? Sure, that all makes sense.
Even if you are not an environmentalist, you can obviously see the value of increased efficiency and less pollution, that’s all well and good. Still, I’ve seen builders use less steel and concrete in their foundations by putting more rock underneath and such for the base. Okay, but the crushing of rock takes energy, machinery, fuel and has an impact during the transportation phase.
And even if you can justify that or call it an over decrease in pollution doing it that way, well what about this weaker foundation cracking during an earthquake causing the building to be a total loss? If the building is a total loss because it could not withstand a “biggie” earthquake, then you have to demolish it, haul away the debris, and rebuild it again. Thus, you built the same building twice.
Well, I ask doesn’t that totally negate the entire reasoning behind the LEEDS certification? Further, we should be concerned that unions are joining in and pressing local, state and Federal Governments to require LEEDS certification for new buildings and lobbying politicians to give tax incentives. Personally, I believe that energy efficient building is wise, but if it is so good it doesn’t need to be subsidized.
The free markets will choose LEEDS because tenants and building owners demand it to save on energy costs. And we need to temper the building materials with strength in Earthquake Risk regions, especially in California that is over do for an 8.0 otherwise we will completely defeat the purpose and theory behind LEEDS. Think on this.