Green Architecture in Virginia – Cost vs Value

Green does not cost more, quality costs more.

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In a meeting yesterday it was pointed out that LEED would certainly cost more because it is very difficult. The conversation revolved around getting the sub-contractors to do the things that the LEED program requires. For instance, they are not allowed to stack / store all the HVAC ducts within the construction space, they have to bring a trailer to the site to store the materials. The result, the material is not “lost”, abused, dirty, and beat up upon installation. I realize that you could save money by allowing the material to become “lost”, abused, dirty, and beat up prior to installation, but do you want a lower quality product? It is going to cost more to do it right. It is going to cost more if take pride in your work and do it the right way. “Because that is the way we always do it” is not a valid answer. The lowest price is often lower, because of less skill, care, or quality. LEED does cost more in some cases, but typically, it adds value to the project. Yes it has major flaws that need to be overcome and LEED 2009 is beginning to address those issues. However, we need a standard to measure quality, and LEED is a good start.

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