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.