Developing ideas on development
Hats off to GreenbuildingsNYC, who beat me to the punch on a couple of items that seem important to future green development.
First, there’s a piece by Professor Charles Kibert that critiques a recent report on the benefits of green schools. It is notable for a couple of reasons. First, his analysis asks some important questions about this particular report’s benefit claims. Second, through this analysis he critiques the lack of critical review and high research standards in the green building field. There’s a response after the post by one of the report’s authors. Worth checking out.
Second, the Nevada legislature may be backpedaling on its green building tax breaks:
Nevada lawmakers moved swiftly Wednesday to suspend tax breaks for “green” building projects to help shrink a projected revenue shortfall that is complicating efforts to wrap up work on a nearly $7 billion state budget … “The analysis we are doing now is, ‘Are you providing an incentive or are you providing a windfall.’ If it’s going to hurt the rest of our tax base, we need to take a closer look at it.”
Now there’s a reason these are lumped together in my mind. They both point out that green building is moving forward at a rapid pace, but we may need to slow things down a bit to think through outcomes at the community or building level.
We need more critical analysis of and research on green buildings so that the excitement of seeing individual green buildings go up doesn’t cause problems down the road with poorly thought out code changes or unsubstantiated claims of benefits. While it may seem like green building is an unstoppable tide of change, we have a long way to go before we start to see the kinds of aggregate benefits that are necessary for green building to make its contribution to mitigating climate change and other environmental impacts.