The Initial Budget

Low budget projects, such as design/build retail store or tilt-up construction suburban offices are going to be harder to LEED-certify without adding costs, because so many of the costs have already been optimized for that project type, particularly to reduce capital cost by not exceeding any code requirements. In looking at small retail stores, for example, I have found a 5 percent cost increase for the first certification. However, the USGBC's "volume build" program can be used to keep costs low, because it allows a retailer to certify a prototype, then just submit any site-related changes for review, for each subsequent store. By contrast, a project with a large budget per square foot can more easily absorb any added costs for LEED certification.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

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. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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