Letters: Reader Feedback

Green thoughts Following the Greenbuild conference in Denver last month, CSE's Newswatch ran a story titled “Architects Predict Significant Increases in Sustainable Design, Singling Out the Importance of HVAC.” The story reported on the results of the 2006 Autodesk Green Index, which provides a measure of the adoption of sustainable design techniques by architects.

12/01/2006


Green thoughts

Following the Greenbuild conference in Denver last month, CSE's Newswatch ran a story titled “Architects Predict Significant Increases in Sustainable Design, Singling Out the Importance of HVAC.” The story reported on the results of the 2006 Autodesk Green Index, which provides a measure of the adoption of sustainable design techniques by architects. Of special significance for consulting M/E engineers is the fact that the most prevalent energy-saving initiative pointed to by said group was high-efficiency HVAC systems.

What I find ironic is that most budgets won't accommodate really expensive HVAC equipment additions and that architects aren't willing to admit M/E/P engineers to an equal status as design partners. To get 50% more energy efficiency on conventional budgets, buildings have to be totally redesigned, not just have high-efficiency HVAC as an “add on.”

Jerry Yudelson, P.E., LEED APYudelson Assocs.Tucson, AZ.

Regarding your editorial last month, “Is a Muddier Shade of Green OK?,” I also think so. Frankly, unless the costs of LEED professional accreditation and project certification become more reasonable, that alone will prohibit the majority of design and construction firms and facilities owners/developers from using the system or including environmental improvements in their projects. While I cannot say alternatives such as Green Globes, the standards offering produced by the Green Building Initiative, will become the industry standard, it is significantly less expensive and something that may encourage more firms to use it to design energy-efficient buildings. In the 1980s I saw a similar thing happen with CAD. Few firms could afford the $100,000-plus price tags on a single, dedicated turnkey workstation. But then a little company named Autodesk came along with software that could operate on a firm's existing PC. Autodesk is now the industry leader. I think it's as simple as pricing rules implementation, and whether one uses LEED, Green Globes, EnergyStar or another system is unimportant. What matters is that the construction industry as a whole embraces the issues of ecofriendly, safe, secure and better performing buildings.

George BorkovichEcobuild AmericA

Plumbing points

A couple of comments about the statement made by Ken Martin in the “Using Water Wisely” editorial (CSE 10/06, p. 60). Ken states that the energy Policy Act of 1992 has not been revised for some time. The act was recently revised in 2005 although no change to the previously stated limitations have been made. Also, Mr. Martin called the act a “code” which is incorrect. The Act was signed into public law on Aug. 8, 2005. Model codes would be required to include compliance in their own revisions.

Anthony J. Curiale, CPD, LEED APBuro Happold , New York





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