These days it’s trendy to discuss environmental sustainability, LEED, and green building techniques in the construction industry. Increasingly, builders, specifiers, ready-mixers,
and other members of the construction industry are coming under the green microscope. Those that aren’t heeding the call to build more sustainable
buildings are contrasted with those who are.
In California, they’ve recently introduced a number of green building techniques including the installation of stall plumbing that cuts indoor water use by as much as 20%,
the diversion of 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling, and mandated use of low-pollutant paints, carpets, and floors. Also, the
state now requires the inspection of energy systems to ensure that heaters, air conditioners, and other mechanical equipment are working efficiently.
While all of these features and systems are valuable, there’s a technique that’s often ignored. The premise of green construction is attention to detail, carefully chosen products, sound building and design practices, along with a focus on long term performance and health.
In other words, green construction is quality craftsmanship. Quality craftsmanship means well built buildings. Well built buildings last. Lasting buildings need not be replaced, saving materials and drastically reducing the long term carbon foot print of an area. But I wonder which side of this green/quality coin has more value to the customer?