The movement took hold slowly. First there were the rising voices of tree huggers that advocated the importance of saving the rainforest. Then there was Earth Day, giving birth to the recycling center and phrases like, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” With an entire universe of existing buildings exceeding 4 million and the certainty of continued development forever on the horizon, the real estate industry has awakened to the importance of being green.
Today, awareness about environmental preservation means smart operations; energy efficiency; preserving the quality of indoor and outdoor air; and meeting local, state, and federal regulations. Building professionals who once thought it seemed too costly or compromised quality are taking a cold, hard look at the bottom line and starting to unravel those green building myths.
While not everyone is building green, interest in the process is overwhelmingly high. In a survey conducted among building professionals in August 2002 by Buildings magazine and the Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute, only one percent of respondents noted that green wasn’t important.
If only it was as easy as believing. Knowledge is everything when it comes to establishing best practices, and becoming educated on how to lessen the impact of the built environment on our earth, air, and water is a constant challenge. When asked “How well are green design issues understood at your firm?”, 63 percent of “Measuring the Success of Green” survey respondents said “Not at All” or “Somewhat.” It seems that the road to understanding is long, and not everyone is making the journey.
On the following pages, you’ll read the perspectives of your peers – what they believe about green, what they’re doing, and what challenges they’re facing. Whether you can be counted among the many that are “Getting It” or those few who’ve “Got It,” you’re sure to relate to at least some of the statements you’re about to read. Enjoy!