Green development measures up, according to some studies

Building and developing real estate using green design principles, practices and materials is attractive in a feel-good way. But where are the hard facts? Is it measurably better in commonly understood ways? That is, financially?

Two recent reports seem to show it is. One study found that “low impact development” (LID) was cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain, and more profitable than the standard slash and burn approach. “However, existing zoning laws, stormwater management regulations and other barriers inhibit LID”, the report went on to say. See Crunching the Numbers on Low Impact Development in Minnesota

Green affordable housing seems to cost a little more to build–but not much–and the benefits to tenants, in terms of utility bills, and even health, might be substantial.

So is anyone in the local (re)development stream–affordable or market rate–paying heed to LID and green building? I think that progress is being made in this direction. Check out Global Green and what they are doing locally. But here, like most everywhere else, old habits persist.


2 responses to “Green development measures up, according to some studies

  1. There has actually been a lot of movement on the topic of LEED/green building in the residential side. I have been covering the business/investor impacts of this, so I definitely appreciate your realistic enthusiasm!

    There is a growing movement among small-towns to enact green/sustainable legislation. This will require education and endorsement by all levels of government and the business sector so that the end consumer does understand the financial benefits these systems offer them.

    I comment regularly on the business/investor side of alternative energy on Energy Spin: Alternative Energy Blog for Investors-Served Daily.

    Francesco DeParis

  2. And, – there’s been lots of progress with green affordable housing. There’s a national program, Green Communities, that is working to encourage its production. I work with Minnesota Green Communities, and we have more than 700 units of housing underdevelopment (about 400 of which are affordable), just in our one state. The state housing finance agency has recently adopted the Green Communities Criteria as a requirement for new construction multifamily housing (and is talking with us about taking it further). Washington state has done something similar.

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