When you’re talking with clients about the pros and cons of green building, you may hear some resistance based on some myths that surround “green building.” Some of these arguments are valid, but many are just that – myths.
Before you meet with your client, be sure you have your ducks in a row. Solid, fact-filled statistics on the benefits of building green are best. Here’s some basic myth-busting info that should help.
Myth 1: Green buildings are just too expensive
Reality: This is a common misconception – partly because many of the high-profile green building projects you see in the news incorporate high-end green building practices. If you look at the opulence of some of these high-profile buildings, that alone will scare some clients. (Have you seen pictures of the USGBC headquarters? That’ll scare anybody concerned about price…)
Remind clients that in some cases it may be more expensive to build green, but studies show that most green buildings make up for any additional expenses in lower operating costs as well as increased energy and water savings. Tell clients to look at the long-term, not just the short-term cost implications of building green.
Green products are also becoming increasingly affordable as major manufacturers compete and develop new lines to meet the green building demand. For example, all major paint manufacturers now offer paints that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can compromise indoor air quality.
There are also a lot of other low-cost strategies that can be utilized throughout the project that will make any building “greener.”
Additionally, your project may also be eligible for money-saving rebates and incentives – check to see what offers your clients may be eligible for.
Myth 2: Green building products don’t function as well as traditional products.
Reality: A typical example of a product that gets a bad rap is low-flush toilets. Many people don’t realize that these types of toilets were mandated in all new construction more than 10 years ago. Chances are if you go into any relatively modern building, you’ll be using these more environmentally friendly toilets. In fact, when customers were asked, the majority of people said that their “double-flush” rate was the same as when using the water-wasting toilets.
Myth 3: Existing buildings cannot be converted into sustainable buildings.
Reality: Existing conventional buildings can be converted into a green building.
You don’t have to do everything all at once – anything will help. Clients can remodel one section of the building at a time
More myths and realities to come in a future blog…