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April 06, 2008


Miles Shapiro

I am delighted you have touched upon some of the basic issues regarding green building, but the topic is more vast, more important, and perhaps more hopeful than any other "green" angle out there. The reason I say that is "green" building, if done properly, should prove a financial boon to builders, investors, and home owners. I am all for saving the planet. But the truth is, and I used this line when talking to someone last night after last night's one woman show, "The Boycott," I can sell "green" building, but I cannot sell morality. Meaning: it is flat out cost effective to build green. Note, I am not saying it is a good thing, or a nice thing, or a moral thing. Rather, it will put money in your pocket, and you can be a homeowner, a builder, a developer, etc... .

But the truth is being hidden. The overwhelming assumption is building green blows up costs to 25, 50, 100% more than what normal construction costs. Not true. The real number, even in the most elaborate of "green" buildings, is under 10%, closer to 5%. However, that 5% can be mitigated in various forms, some being grants, some being cost savings. Any way you look at it, that 5%, in both the short term and the long term crawls its way back into your pocket.

BUT, and this is important, those who exploit the GREEN label for their own financial gain, beware. First, there is another level of flames in Dante's Inferno created just for you, heated by solar energy. Second, when you get found out, your business will disappear immediately. This is neither trick nor fad. No, the sustainable energy source is the saviour of the construction industry, and get this, the home mortgage industry.

Unfortunately, both industries are completely unaware of how they are to be saved. To quote Ron Weezly in the 7th Harry Potter book, "It is a little pathetic, really."

Miles Shapiro
Eco Building Technologies

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