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All Ebook Formats $34.99 ISBN: 9781610910798 Published November 2009
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Greening Our Built World

Costs, Benefits, and Strategies

 Greening Our Built World
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Greg Kats

280 pages | 65 | 8 x 10.5

“Green” buildings—buildings that use fewer resources to build and to sustain—are commonly thought to be too expensive to attract builders and buyers. But are they? The answer to this question has enormous consequences, since residential and commercial buildings together account for nearly 50% of American energy consumption—including at least 75% of electricity usage—according to recent government statistics.


This eye-opening book reports the results of a large-scale study based on extensive financial and technical analyses of more than 150 green buildings in the U.S. and ten other countries. It provides detailed findings on the costs and financial benefits of building green. According to the study, green buildings cost roughly 2% more to build than conventional buildings—far less than previously assumed—and provide a wide range of financial, health and social benefits. In addition, green buildings reduce energy use by an average of 33%, resulting in significant cost savings.


Greening Our Built World also evaluates the cost effectiveness of “green community development” and presents the results of the first-ever survey of green buildings constructed by faith-based organizations. Throughout the book, leading practitioners in green design—including architects, developers, and property owners—share their own experiences in building green. A compelling combination of rock-solid facts and specific examples, this book proves that green design is both cost-effective and earth-friendly.

Table of Contents


Contributing authors

Additional contributors

Sponsoring Organizations


About Good Energies


            Goals and Approach

            Building Green: Costs, Benefits, and Potential

Part 1: Costs and Benefits of Green Building

1.1  Methodology


1.2  The Cost of Building Green


1.3  Energy-Use Reductions


1.4  Advanced Energy-Use Reductions


1.5  Water-Related Savings


1.6  Green Affordable Housing: Enterprise’s Green Communities


1.7  Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Buildings


1.8  Green Health Care: Assessing Costs and Benefits


1.9  Employment Benefits of Green Buildings


1.10          Property Benefits of Building Green


1.11          Net Financial Impacts of Green Buildings for Owners and Occupants

Part 2: Costs and Benefits of Green Community Design

            2.1 What is a Green Community?

            2.2 Setting the Stage for Sustainable Urbanism

            2.3 Financial Impacts of Green Community Design

            2.4 Transportation and Health Impacts of Green Community Design

            2.5 Property Value and Market Impacts

            2.6 The Market Rediscovers Walkable Urbanism

            2.7 Social Impacts of Green Communities

            2.8 Cost Savings in Ecologically Designed Conservation Developments

            2.9 International Green Building

            2.10 Financial Impact of Green Communities

Part 3: Communities of Faith Building Green

            3.1 Faith Groups in the Green Vanguard

            3.2 Methodology and Findings

            3.3 Motivation

            3.4 Impact of Green Buildings in Faith Communities

            3.5 Financial Stewardship

            3.6 Conclusion

Part 4: Green Design, Climate Change, and the Economy: Potential Impacts in the United States

            4.1 Energy Consumption

            4.2 Renewable Energy

            4.3 Carbon Dioxide Emissions

            4.4 Financial Impact

Conclusion: Realizing the Value of Green Buildings and Communities

Perspective 1A: Architect Bob Fox on the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park

Perspective 1B: Water-Saving Strategies: Oregon health Sciences University Center for Healthy and Healing

Perspective 1C: Birth of the Green Branch Bank

Perspective 1D: Green Building as Corporate Social Responsibility

Perspective 1E: Investing in Brownfields

Perspective 1F: Measuring Consumer Demand for Green Homes

Perspective 2A: Monitoring Performance at the LEED Platinum Center for Neighborhood Technology

Perspective 2B: A Greener Economic Recovery

Perspective 2C: Green Buildings in China


            Appendix A: Data-Collection Methodology

            Appendix B: Source List

            Appendix C: Green Buildings Data Set

            Appendix D: Comparison of Data Set to LEED-New Construction Buildings

            Appendix E: Baselines Used in Cost and Benefits Estimates

            Appendix F: Issues in Reseraching the Cost of Green Building

            Appendix G: Cost of Energy-Efficiency and Renewable=energy Measures

            Appendix H: Energy Use Baselines and Standards

            Appendix I: Verifying the Energy Performance of LEED Buildings

            Appendix J: Assumptions Used for Calculations of Water Savings

            Appendix K: Assumptions Used in the Modeling of Health Benefits

            Appendix L: Types of Green Community

            Appendix M: Green Building Survey Instrument

            Appendix N: Assumptions

About the Authors


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