Friday, October 26, 2007

Warning: Common Sense Lurks Behind Integrated Design

Have you ever been on a project team with or for a commercial real estate owner who had high expectations of their new green building project? Or maybe the better question is, who hasn’t?

Timothy Corbett, President of SmartRisk, recently cautioned an audience at the AIA’s conference on public space and design to carefully manage an owner’s heightened expectations of green buildings. If the finished product doesn’t meet their expectations, ‘then lawsuits and claims could follow’.

No duh.

When I read through Corbett’s examples of green building lawsuits and claims, I began to think that someone on those project teams also drove their car around with hot coffee between their knees.

Corbett is quoted as saying that the best way to manage the exposure to such claims is “direct contact with the client”.

Another duh.

All of the green building professionals that I know continually stress that an integrated design process from the very beginning helps to reduce the risk of misunderstandings about what the green building can and cannot deliver. They contrast that with the tendency of some owners to think of green as an added feature than can be plugged into the project at some later point, creating more costs and the potential for miscommunication.

The article’s title, indicating that ‘risks lurk’ in green building, as well as its appearing on, a website targeting real estate investors, unfortunately makes me think that GlobeSt was more interested in getting a few more clicks on their website by playing on investors fears about green building, instead of helping to educate them.

Click here to read the article and decide for yourself.

Photo credit: Flickr/Everydaylifemodern

1 comment:

Steve Eugene said...

I wouldn't go so far to say that is playing with investor's fear. Isn't this more symptomatic for every new feature in any industry before it eventually breaks through? Think of the safety belt in cars 20 or so years ago. I guess it takes time and evidence that it adds something to the bottom line in our market driven economy. I see it more as a linchpin that developer or investors need more factual data for supporting our case of going green and therefore more education on what's reasonable to expect and what it will fetch in the long run in terms of increased yield (put it simply: Does it make sense economically?). Let's spend more effort on producing some convincing and verifiable results and the majority will follow.