This past week, the blogosphere (if that’s even the word these days) has been abuzz about green building and the value that green can add to a project. Three items in particular (among many) got my attention.
The first of these was the fact that a new private sustainability rating system is ready for launch. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (or ISI) is seeking public comment on its proposed envISIon. This new system (aptly dubbed Version 1.0) will go “live” in July for comment. Why mention this new system? First of all, ISI’s founding members are the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). This trio gives the new program some fairly heavy weight backing. Second, while there are rating systems aside from the ever present LEED, none have taken hold in any real way to compete with LEED. I am curious to see if the envISIon system has any better luck. Finally, this shows that sustainable building is of interest to more than the USGBC and those of us that discuss LEED on a daily basis. I find this to be a great thing that could lead to more societal acceptance of sustainable practices as a standard practice rather than a goal.
Hopefully such efforts will offset the other two notes that caught my eye recently.
The first of these is the foreclosure of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Greenbridge project. This project is well documented at my friend Doug Reiser’s (@douglasreiser) Builders Counsel blog so I won’t further discuss the details here. However, the question that Doug asks is a good one, i. e. were the “green” elements of the project to blame?