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Affordability

Living Building Challenge: Affordable Housing Framework
Living Building Challenge report Framework for Affordable Housing presents a pathway to overcome social, regulatory and financial barriers to achieving living building challenge certification in affordable housing. (PDF)
Codes: See Building Performance > Building Codes > Green Building

Codes: See Building Performance > Building Codes > Green Building

Customer Satisfaction

Dovetail: Occupant Education Key To Green Building Success
Dovetail Partners survey revealed that while overall green building satisfaction is high, continued occupant education is important for achieving the best results in certified green buildings.
Durability

USGBC: Green Buildings Are More Durable
US Green Building Council report Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding Impacts and Preparing for Changing Conditions outlines ways to extend the inherent resiliency of green buildings. It sets out adaptive strategies that green building pros can deploy. It follows that, like higher efficiency and health benefits, improved durability could boost the market appeal of green structures. (PDF)
Embodied Energy

Architect Magazine: Understanding Embodied Energy In Design
Architect magazine says architects know how to manage the energy generated and consumed by a building during its working life, but what about energy used to create it?
Energy Savings

Building Science: LEED May Be Misleading On Energy Savings
Building Science article Mis-LEED-ing says four hundred years ago an English statistician would have immediately recognized that it is really stupid to compare the median of one set of things to the average of another set of things. Of course if you were interested in trying to hide stuff you could try that approach and hope that no one noticed. Well, a bunch of folks noticed and put the US Green Building Council (USGBC) on notice. The articles adds that we have to start making the right design decisions at the front end, but we also have to be keeping track of how well we are doing on the back end so that we can continue to improve. Right now we are doing neither.

Building Science: Prioritizing Green For Energy Savings
Building Science article says green buildings do not save energy, because they have too much glass, are over-ventilated, leaky to air, fraught with thermal bridges and rely on gimmicks and fads rather than physics.

Building Science: Why Energy Matters In Green Buildings
Dr. John Straube offer his views on the most important things in green building design. He says awareness of the importance of operational energy consumption, prediction of energy consumption, and confirmation that the designed low-energy building is actually built and operated as one, are key.

CoStar: Study Finds Energy Star & LEED Buildings Outperform Others
CoStar Group study found that sustainable green buildings outperform their non-green peer assets in key areas such as occupancy, sale price and rental rates, sometimes by wide margins. The results indicate a broader demand by property investors and tenants for buildings that have earned either LEED certification or the Energy Star label and strengthen the "business case" for green buildings, which proponents have increasingly cast as financially sound investments.

CRGBC: Cost & Payback Of Living Building Projects
Cascadia Regional Green Building Council study looked into the cost premium and payback of projects in their Living Building Challenge. (PDF)

Dovetail: Green Building Rating Systems Can Do Better
Dovetail article says if green building programs are really going to deliver what they promise, they need to promote measurably reduced consumption of materials, energy and water. One simple approach would be to award points on a more holistic approach based on absolute inputs rather than rewarding the details. Such a performance-based system would reward points based on clearly measurable objectives, e.g. the total kilowatts of electricity or volume of water used rather than the kind of light bulb or toilet installed.

ENN: US Regulations Start Demanding Actual Data On Building Performance
Environmental News article says some new US regulations are demanding actual data on not how efficient the building is based on LEED and other standards, but how much energy it really uses.

GBA: Beginning To Really Hate Eco-Bling
Green Building Advisor discusses problems with putting cool stuff such as photovoltaic systems, geothermal systems, and other expensive stuff on their buildings before making sure that those buildings actually operate well.

GBA: USGBC Vs Energy Efficiency Finds Its Way To Litigation
Green Building Advisor says one of USGBC’s more vocal critics claims in a class-action lawsuit that meeting LEED standards doesn’t deliver as promised on energy efficiency, water efficiency, or air quality. The suit highlights important issues, but will it hold up in court?

GLOBE: New Research Challenges Perception That Sustainability Costs
GLOBE says new research challenges the perception that sustainable buildings are necessarily more costly to construct. Their report, Delivering Sustainable Buildings: Savings and Payback, presents the actual costs of a range of individual sustainability strategies, and the additional costs (if any) of achieving various levels of overall building sustainability. In addition it reveals the associated payback to be gained from reduced utility costs.

GreenBiz: Do Green Buildings Really Save Energy?
GreenBiz says there isn't enough data available to indicate that, on average, green buildings save more energy than conventional buildings.

Henry Gifford: Do LEED Rated Buildings Actually Save Energy
Henry Gifford, of Gifford Fuel Saving Inc., describes background and procedures of the LEED standard for green buildings, and questions whether such green buildings actually save any energy. (PDF)

IRC: Post-Occupancy Evaluation Of Green Buildings
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction report says early data suggests that green buildings perform well in many areas, but there are some things in green building performance that need to be improved. This is true of buildings in general of course, but green buildings may be held to a higher standard as explicit and implicit claims about their universal benefits are often made. (PDF)

IRC: Post-Occupancy Evaluation Of Green Buildings For IAQ & Energy Savings
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction project goal is to demonstrate the value of green building practices in terms of improved indoor environmental quality and decreased energy use, by evaluating a selection of new or renovated buildings.

NRC: Are Green Buildings Better Buildings
Canadian National Research Council conducted a re-analysis of energy data from LEED-certified buildings showed that, on average, LEED buildings used 18-39% less energy per floor area than their conventional counterparts. However, about one-third of individual LEED buildings used more energy than their conventional counterparts. Further, the measured energy performance of LEED buildings had little correlation with the number of energy credits achieved at design time.

Pacific Standard: Is LEED The Gold Standard In Green?
Pacific Standard magzine discusses a lawsuit that challenges the claims of the nation's foremost green building effort, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED certification) program.

USGBC: Buildings Seeking LEED To Provide Performance Data
US Green Building Council announced on June 25, 2009 that as part of LEED v3 buildings seeking LEED certification will begin submitting operational performance data for energy and water usage on a recurring basis as a precondition to certification. (PDF)

USGBC: Defending LEED
US Green Building Council articles says there is a big difference in criticism that is intended to make the LEED program stronger and criticism that is intended to tear down and destroy something. (PDF)

USGBC: Study Confirms Energy Savings In LEED Green Buildings
US Green Building Council and New Buildings Institute study analyzes measured energy performance for 121 LEED New Construction buildings, providing a critical information link between intention and outcome for LEED projects. The results show that projects certified by the USGBC LEED program average substantial energy performance improvement over non-LEED building stock. 2008 (PDF)
Fire

FPRF: Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings
Fire Protection Research Foundation report Fire Safety Challenges of Green Buildings provides information on the intersection of green building design and fire safety and to identify gaps and specific research needs associated with understanding and addressing fire risk and hazards with green building design. (PDF)
Health

CaGBC: Health & Wellbeing In Green Buildings
Canada Green Building Council says green buildings and homes are also healthy places to be. They are built with better ventilation and furnished without toxic materials resulting in fewer volatile organic compounds and better air quality. They are designed to increase natural daylighting and to encourage activity by location choice and interior design. They are engineered to minimize indoor noise pollution and create better thermal comfort through increased insulation and improved temperature control.
Indoor Environment

NRC: New Evidence That Green Buildings Have Better Indoor Environments
Canadian National Research Council report Do Green Buildings Have Better Indoor Environments? New Evidence describes a post-occupancy evaluation of 12 green and 12 conventional office buildings across Canada and the northern United States. Occupants completed an online questionnaire related to environmental satisfaction, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, health and well-being, environmental attitudes, and commuting. (PDF)
Insurance

Environmental Leader: Green Building Takes Wind Out Of Strong Storms
Environmental Leader says the insurance industry is putting money on the line to back up its statistically driven preference for green construction. Some companies have begun to offer lower-premium policies for new green construction or renovation in homes, while the same ideas are taking root commercial-building insurance.

Living Green Magazine: Green Insurance For Green Buildings
Living Green Magazine says green insurance covers a variety of costs that traditional insurance coverage does not, the most notable of which is the cost difference between green systems and their traditional counterparts.
Legal & Risk

AIA: Guide For Sustainable Projects
American Institute of Architects online Guide For Sustainable Projects 2013 provides a clear understanding new roles, responsibilities, risks and opportunities for those involved in the sustainable design and construction industry. It identifies and discusses key issues, provides model language that can be incorporated into existing AIA Contract Documents to assist parties in defining, documenting and allocating the specific roles and responsibilities of the Owner, Architect and Contractor, and to assist Project participants in allocating new risks to the party in the best position to control those risks. (PDF)

BCCA: Risks & Liabilities Of Green Building
BC Construction Association research report A Study on the Risks and Liabilities of Green Building takes an in-depth look at the inherent risks and potential liabilities that may emerge as a result of the added complexity and scope alteration associated with green building and 3rd party rating systems. (PDF)

BEPN: Green Building Raises Some Construction Defect & Claims Concern
Building Energy Performance News says new insurance products to protect innovative green construction products such as wind turbines, fuel cells and vegetative roofs are on the rise. But even those closest to the situation admit to being a bit, well, green, about the risks behind some of these environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient products and about some of the promises green builders are making.

CHBA: Backgrounders On Liability Risk For Green Builders
Canadian Home Builders Association provides a summary of examples and issues about liability and green buildings. Member Registration (PDF)

Claims Journal: Defining Undefined Loss Exposures In Green Construction
Claims Journal says it's becoming more common for building owners to sue construction companies if their green-building elements don't bring expected tax breaks. The crux of the matter, according to this article, is the true definition of green and who decides what constitutes a green building. In the end, the contract may be the deciding factor.

Custom Home Online: Legal Risks Of Green Building
Custom Home Online article summarizes the seminar Green Building Legal and Liability Issues from the International Builders Show, where Jeffrey Masters, litigation partner with Cox, Castle & Nicholson, and David Crump, Jr., director of legal research for the National Association of Home Builders, discussed the potential legal issues and pitfalls of the emerging field of green home building.

Environmental Building News: Gifford Files Class Action Lawsuit Against USGBC LEED
Environmental Building News says Henry Gifford, a mechanical systems designer and principal at Gifford Fuel Savings, in New York City, is suing the U.S. Green Building Council for millions of dollars. Gifford, in the class action suit, claims that the USGBC has committed fraud in the selling of energy savings its Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) program, and has unfairly kept work away from people like him who are not involved in the program.

Green Building Law: Blog On Green Building From A Lawyer
Green Building Law blog by lawyer Shari Shapiro, a LEED Accredited Professional, covers topics on green building law, including sustainable project financing, regulatory drafting, land use approvals, contracts, and conflict resolution.

GVHBA: Going Green the Smart Way
Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association article by KuhnLLP says a significant source of liability that arises in relation to green-labelling programs is that the potential benefits of a home associated with that label can be overstated. The best way to minimize your liability when participating in a green-labelling program is to ensure that proper due diligence is undertaken before a label is chosen.

Insurance News: Liability Is Gray Area For Green Buildings
Insurance News says when it comes to certain aspects of green building, like implementing innovations, selecting green products, retrofitting existing buildings and overall energy performance, uncertainty remains, and therefore liability continues to be a difficult issue.

JLC: Legal Risks Of Building Green
Journal of Light Construction says building green comes with its own particular legal risks, and explains how to avoid problems.

Kuhn: Avoiding Liability In Green Building
Kuhn LLP says greater demand from consumers and regulators for green building practices suggests potential benefits for green-contractors. A common strategy is to adopt a labelling system that advertises compliance with defined environmental standards. Along with the marketing benefits, however, comes potential exposure to liability.

NIBS: Report On US Building Rating & Certification Issues
US National Institute of Building Sciences online Report on Building Rating and Certification in the US Building Community raises a number of issues and concerns with building rating systems, and offers conclusions and recommendations for various industry sectors. (PDF)
Myths

GBE: Debunking Myths Of Green Building & Remodeling
Green Building Elements looks at some of the myths behind green building and renovation, debunks false ideas, and takes a look at what it really means to build sustainably.

Huffington: Six Myths Of Sustainable Design
Huffington Post surveyed hundreds of architects and designers to understand the obstacles to going green, and summarizes the six misperceptions that emerged about sustainable design.

The Tyee: Five Myths About Green Building
The Tyee describes five myths about green building and how green doesn't have to mean expensive, exotic or uncomfortable.
Resilience

Eco-Business: Green Buildings Help Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
Eco-Business outlines the many ways in which green buildings can contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals.

RELi: Resiliency Action List + Credit Catalog
C3 Living Design Project online RELi resilience standard, encourages city planners, project developers and businesses to build and operate facilities that can better withstand super storms, sea-level rise, drought, heat waves or even longer-simmering social unrest.
Standards & Specs

AIA: Report Green Building Laws & Programs Of US Cities
American Institute of Architects report Local Leaders in Sustainability examines current state of green building laws in American cities as of 2007. The primary goal of this analysis is to provide a tool for communities as well as other levels of government that seek to design green building programs in the future. (PDF)

ISO 14000: International Standards Of Environmental Management
International Organization for Standardization series ISO 14000 are a set of voluntary international standards outline what companies, organizations or communities must do to be recognized as having an environmental management system. (PDF)

ISO 15392:2008: General Principles For Sustainability In Building Construction
ISO 15392:2008 identifies and establishes general principles for sustainability in buiding construction. It is based on the concept of sustainable development as it applies to life cycle of buildings and other construction works, from their inception to end of life. It is applicable to buildings and other construction works individually and collectively, as well as to materials, products, services and processes.

The Tyee: How Do They Decide a Building Is Green?
The Tyee provides a guide to green building certification systems in Canada.
Valuation & Appraisal

AI: Appraisal Institute Supports USGBC Green Home Report Findings
US Appraisal Institute has announced its support for a US Green Building Council report that found green labeled homes can sell at higher prices.

AI: Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency, Getting It Right
Appraisal Institute online guide, Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency: Getting It Right, provides important information for buyers, sellers and home builders. Energy efficiency can be overlooked in the appraisal process for a variety of reasons, but specially trained appraisers can assess the value of these features. (PDF)

AI: New Form Helps Analyze Green Commercial Real Estate Features
Appraisal Institute's new Commercial Green and Energy Efficient Addendum offers a communication tool that lenders can use as part of the scope of work. The addendum also assists investors in communicating the construction features of the property that impact income.

AI: Residential Green & Energy Efficient Addendum Form
Appraisal Institute now provides real estate appraisers with this Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum, a voluntary form to help analyze values of energy-efficient features. (PDF)

AI: Resources On Valuation Of Sustainable Properties
Appraisal Institute offers a variety of resources centered around the valuation of sustainable properties, including downloads, find an appraisor, education programs, webinars, seminars and publications.

Appraisal Institute: Form Helps Real Estate Appraisers Analyze Green Features
The largest professional association of real estate appraisers in the US has released a form intended to help analyze values of energy-efficient home features. The Appraisal Institute issued the form as an optional addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, the appraisal industry's most widely used form for mortgage lending purposes. It allows appraisers to identify and describe a home's green features, such as solar panels and energy-saving appliances.

BCBEC: Green Value Is A Sustainable Business Case
BC Building Envelope Council presentation by Chris Corps outlines many types of values that are found in green buildings.

Builder Magazine: Green Builders Must Battle For Fair Market Valuation
Builder Magazine says sustainable, energy-saving homes don't always appraise for what they're worth.

Building Performance: Appraising The Value Of Home Performance
Building Performance podcast Appraising The Value Of Home Performance discusses the root of the problem of appraising home performance, energy efficiency, and green features in a home.

Building Rating: Resources On Efficiency & Property Value
Building Rating provides links to research studies that have proven that many commercial tenants, investors and homebuyers are indeed paying a premium to lease or buy energy-efficient properties, and that owners of efficient commercial buildings are experiencing higher occupancy rates and faster lease-up periods, increasing their operating income.

Colorado Gov: Energy Efficiency & Contributory Value
Colorado Energy Office report An Early Look at Energy Efficiency and Contributory Value says getting a valuation bump for high-performance homes has been elusive for many builders and developers. But the peer-reviewed appraisal study shows that growing levels of energy efficiency in homes have additional contributory value, and that trend will continue as data rolls in from the marketplace. (PDF)

Earth Advantage: Market Evaluation Of Energy Efficient & Green Northwest Homes
Earth Advantage online report Market Evaluation of Energy Efficient and Green Certified Northwest Homes documents the market valuation associated with energy efficiency home certifications used in the US Northwest. (PDF)

GBA: Green Home Appraisal Woes
Green Building Advisor says appraisers who set values for bank loans may not know enough to give due credit for energy efficiency and green features. Even if they do, banks making the loans may not allow the practice.

GBA: Seeing Red On Green Property Appraisal
Green Building Advisor says before issuing a construction loan, most banks will want to have an appraiser review your plans. The question is: How do appraisers assign value to the green features of a home?

Green Dream: What Green's Really Worth
Building Performance Podcast with Appraisal Institute green valuation expert discusses greening the MLS, swimming pool ROI, and the future of appraiser apprenticeship.

HIRL: Your Building Is Green, Why Isn't Your Appraisal?
Home Innovation Research Labs says building owners have more power than they may realize to get an appropriate green appraisal.

Home Energy: Value Of Energy Performance & Green Attributes
Home Energy magazine summarizes a Lawrence Berkeley National Lab report on the value of energy performance and green attributes in buildings.

IMT: Green Building & Property Value
Institute for Market Transformation online guide Green Building and Property Value: A Primer For Building Owners & Developers helps understand the appraisal process and how green, high performance characteristics and data can be used by appraisers to help fully maximize valuation. (PDF)

IMT: Recognition Of Energy Costs & Energy Performance In Real Property Valuation
Institute for Market Transformation and Appraisal Institute online guide Recognition of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation helps appraisers assess energy cost and energy performance in buildings. Methods include billing analysis, identification of equipment and components, and examination of results from engineering simulations. (PDF)

Light House: Does Building Green Create Value?
Light House white paper Does Building Green Create Value? examines whether building green translates into tangible value for property owners and developers and introduces a Green Building Valuation Report for the Canadian market that is starting this year. (PDF)

Living Future: Economics Of Change
International Living Future Institute project The Economics of Change is a collaborative effort that unites theoretical approaches of ecological economics and practical techniques of real estate appraisal and valuation. The project expands the methodologies used to evaluate the multiple benefits of high performance green buildings and infrastructure. (PDF)

Research Alliance: Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency
The Research Alliance online guide Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency: Getting it Right contains recommendations for builders and resources to use with buyers and lenders. (PDF)

VVA: Evolving Business Case For Valuation & Sustainability
Vancouver Valuation Accord Summit 2007 provided an opportunity for key thinkers and practitioners from leading valuation, appraisal and related industries to come together to discuss the critical issues and challenges at the nexus of valuation and sustainability.
Water Quality

Fine Homebuilding: Water Risks Higher In Green Buildings
Fine Homebuilding says researchers found water conservation measures in green buildings can increase the length of time that water stands in plumbing systems and increase the risk water will become contaminated with microbes, including the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

GBA: Is There Lead in Water of Your Green Building?
Green Building Advisor says the broad growth of green buildings, including schools, that use water conservation strategies has the potential to lower the quality of drinking water in their plumbing systems.
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