Harvard Business Review: "Building the Green Way"

Author Charles Lockwood , speaking about his newly published article in Harvard Business Review, reminds us that, "In the U.S., buildings account for 39% of the nation's total annual energy consumption, whereas transportation (including cars) comprises only 27% of our total energy use, " His June 2006 HBR article begins with a reminder of just how quickly the green building movement has become practical and business-worthy. Deserving of a read in its entirety, the full article, online version without photos, is available for a limited time at this link . Charlie offers ten cardinal rules that will be helpful for those who've not yet looked into the details of green building (in truth, this probably means most big business executives and developers). From HBR: "Building green is no longer a pricey experiment; just about any company can do it on a standard budget by implementing the following ten rules". Rule 1: Focus on the Big Picture
Rule 2: Choose a Sustainable Site
Rule 3: Do the Math
Rule 4: Make the Site Plan Work for You
Rule 5: Landscape for Savings
Rule 6: Design for Greater Green
Rule 7: Take Advantage of Technology
Rule 8: Save and Manage Water
Rule 9: Use Alternative Materials
Rule 10: Construct Green

One of our favorite punchlines: " the owners of standard buildings face massive obsolescence."

There is an interesting meta-story linked to this being in HBR. Traditionally, HBR articles seem to have little popular appeal, coming from an academic business or management consulting worldview, and existing as a forum for industry insiders to speak to their peers. Green building has proceeded in the opposite way, with hundreds of grass-roots prototype projects already finished... well reported on in local and national newspapers...and now finally getting a well deserved exposure in the ultimate "insider" business trend publication. Sort of reminds us of how the Internet came into being as a major business change driver.

We hope Charlie is right about the obsolesence factor. With any luck, this can be the impetus to get sidewalks and bike lanes installed around existing office parks and public buildings, with connections to public transit systems. And in a few years Charlie will have a "Green Way II" story to tell.

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