"The president also announced what he called the "better buildings initiative," a push to upgrade buildings for energy efficiency that would be co-led by former President Bill Clinton. He claimed the upgrades, while putting contractors to work, could in the long run save companies $40 billion a year -- money that could be put to use hiring new workers.
"It is a win-win-win-win proposition," Obama said."
Oy, where to begin with this. This better building initiative is so far behind the curve it is unbelievable. The U.S. Green Building Council, founded in 1993, which developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for buildings, has become the defacto standard for green building design. And, imagine this, this is not a Federal Agency. Nonetheless, the concept took hold in the building industry and the free market nurtured its growth by competition.
Most developers of large scale projects were already requiring the kind of energy efficient design promoted by the LEED rating system. The LEED rating system gave developers a 3rd party certification system from which they could market the efficiency of their buildings. The savings in operating costs go directly to their bottom line.
Taking all the steps to get a building LEED certified adds to the initial cost of a new building. Doing the retrofit to an existing building is even more expensive. In the current economy, I'm not seeing existing building owners clammoring to spend a bunch of money to get their building LEED certified. I'm squinting really hard here, but not seeing any jobs so far.Obama's quote should read : "It is a