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The State of Sustainable Building: Ten Notable Green Quotables

Chapter 1 of the 2007 Building Design + Construction Green Buildings White Paper, “AEC Industry Continues to Embrace Green Building, But Is It Still Only a Niche?,” includes three pages of quotes from industry stakeholders regarding, among other things, their attitudes towards the role of A/E/C professionals in green building, prevailing green market conditions, defining and choosing green products, and the regulatory aspects of green building.

We present ten of the most compelling quotes below to frame a glimpse of where green building stands at the start of 2008 (at least according to the BD+C survey that was completed by 631 recipients of its print publication and forms the basis of the White Paper). You can check out all of the quotes beginning on page 14 of the White Paper.

“If we are truly being green, we should renovate and not build new.” Scott Thomas, partner, Zagrodnik + Thomas Architects, San Diego, CA.

“The ‘green’ movement is becoming an opportunity for a few people to make a lot of money on the backs of those who have always designed with the environment and the good of the end users in mind.” James Howard, LWPB Architects, Norman, OK.

“Owners are the drivers. If they ask up front for green design and are willing to pay a little more for the design and construction, they can get it. Few owners ask and are often too tight-fisted to consider it.” Randall Boyd, architect, Fuqua & Partners Architects, Huntsville, AL.

“LEED certification is time-consuming, cumbersome, very bureaucratic, and not conducive to new work or commissions.” Quentin Dart Parker,, Pacific Palisades, CA.

“Most clients that are educated about the benefits of building green don’t have any reservations about building to LEED requirements- even if the building isn’t registered or certified [with USGBC]. It just makes sense financially.” Amy Pearce, project manager, Bovis Lend Lease, Houston, TX.

“Green building advocates argue that green design adds only up to three percent to the cost of construction. While this may be correct with regard to institutional-quality buildings, on our commercial projects- such as speculative office buildings and light industrial structures- the premium is significantly more.” Rob Thrun, vice president of architecture and engineering, Al Neyer, Inc., Cincinnati, OH.

“The most measurable thing in buildings is energy use. Buildings that are LEED-certified, when you check them a year later, are they really energy efficient? I’m convinced that performance is where we need to go, not a prescriptive approach.” Paul R. Bertram, Jr., director of environment and sustainability, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Alexandria, VA.

“Are green-labeled products truly green and sustainable, not just a scam?” Daniel Osborne, architect, San Francisco, CA.

“Economics is the issue- net present value. Most people are in the game for the maximized profit and sale of the building to others as soon as possible. It’s the money, stupid.” C. Thomas Williams, GM, Dubai Isles Development, Los Angeles, CA.

“I do not support the notion that green should be mandated by the government, nor should it be supported by tax incentives; neither of these is as ‘sustainable’ as market demand, which may take longer to develop, but will likely stand the test of time.” Dieter Numberger, president, Dieter Numberger Associates, Westlake Village, CA.

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2 Responses to The State of Sustainable Building: Ten Notable Green Quotables

  1. Nick January 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Nice quotes, sharp.

    For a full look on the issue of sustainability, including from an economic vantage point, we ran an issue-of-the-day here at The Issue,

    please let join our discussion!

    Nick |


  1. san quentin | News of course - January 11, 2008

    [...] The State of Sustainable Building: Ten Notable Green Quotables [...]

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