Skip to comments.Eco-friendly buildings may not be as green as you think
Posted on 01/06/2008 8:16:52 PM PST by Lorianne
In a high-end Mumbai neighborhood, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's personal high-rise, named Antilia, is under construction. When completed, the 24-story family home will include its own health club, terraced sky-gardens and 50-seat screening room.
Antilia also boasts three helipads and a 168-car garage. This may sound like transportation overkill, if not outright eco-terrorism, for a family of six. But despite its 38-to-1 car-to-person ratio, Antilia has been billed by its American architects as a "green building." And under the leading standards for green architecture, it will likely qualify.
Antilia's architects, Perkins & Will of Chicago, plan to evaluate its greenness based on the criteria of the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit founded in 1993 "to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work." The group's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, launched in 2000, has become the widely accepted standard.
Using its "Rating System Checklist," the council evaluates a building's water and energy efficiency, land use, choice of materials and indoor environmental quality. Based on the results, it certifies buildings on a scale from simply "LEED Certified" up through Silver, Gold and Platinum. But because of the checklist system, even a building like Antilia loses only a single point for parking capacity.
Critics of LEED many of them architects who were green before green was cool see a system that's easy to game and has more to do with generating good PR than saving the planet. Just a few years ago, such criticisms were limited to architectural and environmental circles, but the loopholes in LEED are no longer a trivial problem. Green building has gone mainstream.
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What's the standard, to pollute less than Al Gore's house? Is so, they might be right.
There was a condo/hotel development planned in downtown Seattle called “1”, that was supposed to be using all green technology. The prices for even the small 1 bedroom units was 600K+. The developers claimed that the high prices were justified because people would feel good about themselves owning and living in such an “green” building.
All thats been done on it so far is a hole dug in the ground. There hasn’t been construction happening at the site for months now. The developers are claiming there is some dispute with the construction company, but something tells me the deal is falling through due to lack of buying interest. Some local real estate reporter calculated that based on the sale price, you would have to have your condo/hotel room occupied by guests 25 days per month to just break even on the mortgage payments, and that was with the rooms charging more than the 4 seasons.
Yippee!!! 600K for a 1 bedroom condo I only get to live in 2 months out of the year, if that.
Green scams. It costs $100,000.00 to cedrtify the building green. What a waste of money.
Methinks the Seattle dispute was that the contractors wanted to get paid.
~~Anthropogenic Global Warming ping~~
I noticed that too. Actually Fine Homebuilding was ‘green’ way before it was trendy.