Green design seen as too pricey now
(Source: Business Times)
Green building may still be all the rage, but the economic crash has tenants and landlords backpedaling away from sustainable office construction, according to James Jenkins, president of GCI.
The contractor has seen the percentage of projects seeking the blessing of the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design certification plummet this year, as cash-strapped tenants and landlords balk at any features that could increase costs. In 2008, GCI had $91 million in revenue, 48 percent of which was for sustainable projects. In 2009, GCI is on track to do a projected $50 million in projects. For the first half of 2009, about 25 percent of $22 million in projects were sustainable.
The falloff in tenants doing sustainable projects is driven by the perception that it costs more. To counter this, GCI recently built its new 11,000-square-foot office to LEED specification for $38 a square foot — less than the $40 to $50 a square foot most landlords are offering in tenant improvement allowances.
Read J.K. Dineen’s full article “Contractors see LEED drop-off” in the San Francisco Business Times (July 10, 2009)