LEED – Cost vs Value

LEED – Cost vs Value

LEED (Green design) and construction does not cost more, quality costs more. When weighing cost vs value in green design it is important to evaluate quality requirements.


LEED provides some quality standards

In a meeting yesterday it was pointed out that LEED certification would 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 to be in compliance with LEED standards. The result, the material is not “lost”, abused, dirty, and beat up upon installation. 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 costs more to do it right. It costs more if the contractor takes pride in their work. “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 LEED has major flaws that need to be overcome. LEED 2009 is beginning to address those issues. However, we need a standard to measure quality, and LEED is a good start.


Making small changes each day will make a huge difference

Making small changes each day will make a huge difference

Small Changes will add up to make a big difference for us all. Making small changes each day will make a huge difference for yourself and your community.

There are many ways to go green daily. Many of these strategies save money and are not expensive to implement. Simple ideas done right such as planting a tree to shade your HVAC equipment can cut your energy costs. Even less labor intensive ideas such as changing light bulbs to LEDs or Fluorescent bulbs. You could use shades on your windows to reduce heat gain. You could open your windows when weather permits to cool your house. All of these ideas will save money, cut energy consumption. It can also reduce the demand on the power company to build new power plants. Sure doing all these things is only a small impact, but what if everyone in your community reduced their energy usage by 10-20%? You will then start to see large changes. It is time to stop making “green” a political discussion and start using common sense. Saving money is on everyone’s political agenda, going “green” will save you money – it just so happens that you will also be reducing your carbon footprint.

small changes


Easy ways to Save Money

Easy ways to Save Money

There are many challenges that prevent you from saving money each month. There seem to be bills due everyday and if you are like me, the paychecks don’t flow as fast. A house is one of the most complicated machines you will ever own and it comes with all kinds of financial demands. You have to maintain a yard, keep the gutters clean, trim the trees, clean the carpets, and maintain the roof just to name a few. So where do you turn to save some money on your home? What are the easy ways to save money?

The five most important things you should do this summer that are easy ways to save money on your energy bill:

  1. weatherstrip around all doors – if you can see light coming around the door, then air is coming into your home.
  2. insulate your attic access – scuttle or pull down stair, make it air tight and install insulation or an attic tent to keep the cool air in the cool space
  3. caulk around all electrical outlets inside and out – this is a common leak
  4. install a programmable thermostat (take off the cover and make the electrical box airtight)
  5. get an energy audit by a BPI certified professional


energy audit

Leaders Growing Leaders

Clay Nelson gave a presentation on Leaders Growing Leaders at Construct 2009 CSI Show in Indianapolis. His position is you have to train your employees to do what you do. This give you the ability to stay on the cutting edge and continue to be the visionary.

Construction Specifications Institute

So this concept, of growing leaders to advance your vision, grows the diversity and depth of your business. If you constantly answer questions and tell people what to do, you will have no time to do visioning. Clay says as a leader your job is to know what you don’t know. So if you set your goal to be right all the time then you have stopped learning.

Hence you should look for things you don’t know and focus on learning those things. Let your employees do all the things you already know. If they can’t, then you have not done your job of giving them the power. This is the only way to be one of the leaders growing leaders. Your staff will do what you let them do through your actions. If you always give them the answer, or if you tell them they are wrong when they bring you an answer, then you have given them no power to learn and grow themselves. Therefore, as a leader you have to stop telling and start asking questions.

Write down all the things you do for two weeks. As a result this will give you a job description of what you do now. What on the list can you have someone else do? Figure this out and you can start doing things you don’t already know how to do and you can grow.

A leader is only as great as the weakest part of his team. Don’t worry about making mistakes, mistakes = growth. Set an example, be what you want other to be. This will give you the leaders that you need in your firm.

This was a great seminar with a tremendous speaker.