Letters to the Editor

Green policies

October 22, 2009


To the editor:

Cities around the world are moving forward to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. Toward this end, many, such as Kansas City, Mo., and Boulder, Colo., are requiring that new construction or major renovations of public buildings achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification standard. They are also incentivizing private development which achieves LEED Silver certification and requiring that nonprofits that receive city funds for building projects meet this standard.

The city, county, Kansas University, the housing authority and the school district should all adopt green building policies. Not only will we be moving toward a more sustainable Earth, but taxpayers will save money over the long run in lower energy and water bills.


parrothead8 8 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like he does care about MY money, because green buildings save MY money in the long run.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Larger cities are in fact moving in this direction and setting up their cities to meet the "walkable criteria" even if it requires rehabilitating walks.

Yes Lawrence,Kansas is slow in responding.

Good letter Clark.

Mr Rails to Trails is good for the community.

Now what would be nice is to designate some existing walks as "inner urban safe pedestrian&bike transportation routes".

Which would require widening a few walks/existing right of ways and lighting them up. Using existing right ways/walks definitely reduces the expense substantially.

IN the meantime thanks for tax dollar saving remarks Clark.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 7 months ago

He lost me at "green." That term has become as over used and meaningless as "racism" and "tolerance."

BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

He must be an advocate for the SLT since swamps give off far greater greenhouse gasses than automobiles.

Jimo 8 years, 7 months ago

I recently had a client who was awarded LEED platinum certification. I was hardly easy for them to achieve but the financial savings over the long term were clear enough for even the harshest cynic to give approval.

Government should absolutely be looking to these type of considerations given the long time horizon that government usually builds.

devobrun 8 years, 7 months ago

"but taxpayers will save money over the long run in lower energy and water bills"

Here's the problem: In an environment of "green" nobody is interested in determining the cost-benefit budget for the solutions proposed. Mr. Coan asserts that adopting LEEDS criteria will benefit the taxpayer in the long run. This is not necessarily true and subject to a lot of fuzzy analysis.

All of it is shot through with fuzzy thinking and even worse implementation. How 'bout that corn-based ethanol? Well, after the hype died down, corn is shown to be a net bad thing.

What about insulation, expensive electronic controls, thicker walls, and so on? Fact is, we don't know. Why? Because it is all so politicized that we can't believe LEEDS or anybody else regarding "green" technology. Mr. Coan apparently believes the politicians.

I don't trust politicians. Therefore I don't believe LEEDS directives or anyone else who sells themselves on the basis of being more caring. At least I know that Trane, Carrier, York and the other companies are trying to make a buck. That makes sense to me. They don't have hidden agendas. "Greenies" do. And it is political. Yech.

Ken Lassman 8 years, 6 months ago

devobrun, You know, you should follow your own advice. You're the one who is not interested in determining the cost-benefit budget for green buildings.

You show me the statistics on how insulation, thicker walls and other weatherization processes don't pay themselves back? Even the utilities have calculators showing how cost-effective various weatherization investments can be. I can't believe that you don't understand how an energy audit works, where data is collected on current energy use, then various technologies are calculated on their energy saving potential, then if the payback period is short enough in terms of investment vs. energy saved, a list of cost-effective benefits is generated.

And LEEDS not being cost effective? OK, I'll do your homework for you: in Gregory Katz' "Green Building Costs and Financial Benefits, published in 2003 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative project, here's their breakdown:

a 20-year net present value benefit of $50-65 per square foot is obtainable for a $3-5 investment

Category 20-year Net Present Value Energy Savings $5.80 Emissions Savings $1.20 Water Savings $0.50 O&M Savings $8.50 Productivity and Health Benefits $36.90 to $55.30 Subtotal $52.90 to $71.30 Average Extra Cost of Building Green (-$3.00 to -$5.00) Total 20-year Net Benefit $50 to $65

Additional benefits accrued include increased worker productivity, increased morale and decreased absenteeism.

Now exactly who is being political?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.