To the Editor,
Re: Green building program suspended, Coastal Living, April 30.
I would like to comment on the article printed about the green building program suspension as co-chairman of the Vancouver Island Chapter of the Cascadia Green Building Council.
Most of us involved in green building do it because we believe it is the best use of design, the most effective use of natural resources and above all to limit the impact of costs to the home owner, building owner or business management team.
One must recognize that we as a Western society grossly overuse our natural resources with little regard for the common system’s lack of efficiency. We, however, admit that most of this can be addressed through education. This education must be directed at the consumer.
Once there is a greater demand to save money, reduce consumption and have a smarter building, they designers, the builders and officials having jurisdiction will require these systems to become mandatory without increasing costs. Most businesses or owners of commercial buildings recognize that when there is an opportunity to save even three per cent of their utility bills drop a noticeable amount, creating greater opportunity to reinvest in other areas, lower prices or increase profitability to their shareholders. Home owners need to begin to think the same way to recognize the same savings potential.
In general, many of the issues associated with building green is a lack of understanding of the lifecycle of the products involved. All too often products are specified for their green “points” or “rating” but with little to no regard for how long the particular product may last in the environment it is asked to perform in.
This is often the issue that generates the result we see on the evening news with a building not performing as it was intended to do so. As unfortunate as that is education will eventually resolve that issue. In that case however, it is education at the design, installation and maintenance level.
It should be noted that employment with a building contractor need not be the only option for a student of green building professional. There are many design firms, energy Efficiency consultants and even project management and construction management firms may seek the advice or knowledge of a graduate from a program such as the one in question at VIU.
Seeking out professional organizations like Cascadia can also point the individual in the right direction.