Friday, October 3, 2008

Green building is the “bright spot” in home building

… during these uncertain economic times, according to David Gottfried. That means taking some steps to make your home more green - and a healthier place in which to live – may be a smart move, even now.

While at U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council (USGBC), Gottfried helped develop the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

Says Gottfried, in an interview at Sustainable Industries, “The market’s been growing about 30 percent a year for green building, whereas it’s decreasing for the industry in general.

The LEED rating system has some 15,000 projects that have registered for certification. Over 100 cities mandated green requirements for their own buildings.

Some of the homebuilders who are building are starting to move over and embrace green. Why is all that doing well? Because new construction is slowing down, but there’s existing buildings which are being rehabbed green.

Perhaps the green building market can rely on remodeling to keep it afloat during this downturn. He also acknowledges that “because of the recession that becomes a more important market, because it’s hard to get financing for new construction.”

“I think owners are rehabbing their homes. They’re going to rehab their office buildings and retool them for the next generation; and that’s a good business. It also saves money because it brings your energy bill down by 30 percent to 50 percent and your water bill down by 30 percent. All of that enhances the value of the asset that you own in the marketplace.

In January, among other activities, Gottfriend is going to help grow, an Internet community for green homebuilding and remodeling that I helped start. Check it out.

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