Introduction to the Environmental Value Added Method

Traditional project delivery methods do not provide a very easy path toward the goal of successfully delivering a green building project. As you've learned from various examples presented earlier in this book, when evaluating the cost/benefit components of a green building, the starting point on all projects needs to be a visioning session among project stakeholders. This session should be a focused meeting that allows the project owner or developer to develop a set of goals, that the project design and construction team will refer to frequently during the design development process.

In the visioning session, the owner should bring the entire stakeholder team together to help participate in the visioning for the project. Sustainability and its application to green building can be defined by the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. The Triple Bottom Line concept is based on concerns in three main areas of impact: planet, profit, and people. Others define the impact areas as environmental, economic, social. If the owner can clearly define what elements of the triple bottom line they are striving for, then the team can more clearly articulate a design path to reach those goals.

Many times, project teams start a project with a LEED checklist, but no specific areas of focus. This can lead a team to "shop" for points, in some cases implementing elements that the owner might not have that much interest in, while leaving tougher credits aside. The owner should define for the project team (and for the project itself)

the elements of the Triple Bottom Line that they are striving for. While defining the goals that the project should strive for, project teams should also define any constraints that might affect those areas of interest. Skipping this visioning session leaves most green building projects at the mercy of the dreaded "value engineering" or merely cost-cutting exercises, Table 8.1 presents a set of goals articulated during an actual project visioning session for a corporate campus project.

Once the team defines the goals strived for along with the constraints, the team should then evaluate the list for synergies among the Triple Bottom Line elements. Synergies can always be found. For example, in Table 8.1, under "Planet: Reduce Energy Consumption" and "Reduce Greenhouse Emissions" are linked to each other. These elements align with "Reduce Energy Costs" under the Profit category, which then aligns with the People category element of "Be a Good Corporate Citizen" and "Reduce Greenhouse Emissions." When multiple elements across multiple categories align, the team can be fairly sure that the ownership team will stay focused on the elements of high performance green design that deliver those elements (Table 8.10).

After this analysis, the team has an understanding of the benefits that the owner is striving for, and the team can begin designing the project. The benefits that the owner has chosen to focus on should become part of the EVA (Environmental Financial Value Analysis) log. Unlike VA (Value Analysis) or VE (Value Engineering) the EVA log is meant to retain sustainable elements in the building that have an important role in delivering the financial results the client wants in a given project.

TABLE 8.1 TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE GOALS FOR A PROJECT VISIONING

SESSION FOR A CORPORATE CAMPUS

PLANET/ENVIRONMENTAL

PROFIT/ECONOMIC

PEOPLE/SOCIAL

GOALS TO STRIVE FOR

Reduce energy

Reduce energy

Be a good corporate

consumption 50%

costs 50%

citizen

Reduce greenhouse gas

Reduce water

Provide a healthy work

emissions 50%

costs 50%

environment

Reduce water usage 50%

Reduce maintenance

Reduce greenhouse

costs

gas emissions

Reduce waste produced

Increase productivity

Maximize utilization of

during construction and

resources

during operations

Protect biodiversity

Reduce risk of sick

Reduce overall carbon

building-related issues

footprint

CONSTRAINTS

Site is already selected

Owners payback targets

Limited experience

are <10 years

internal to owners' team

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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