There is a huge push to go LEED by many in government, design and the building industry. The reality is that there is still much to learn about what really works here in the Hudson Valley. At Meyer Contracting, we do not believe that a cookie cutter approach to these issues are in the best interest of our customers. We feel that our responsibility is to provide a balanced approach showing the cost and options of building LEED or as well as the cost of operating a LEED project after it is completed. What we advocate is being wise stewards of our resources, energy and to protect our communities, businesses and environment for today and future generations.
On this web-page, we will attempt to provide an open, honest and balanced approach for owners of projects and those who work with us. We will first provide some definitions of some of the industry terms, what they really mean to us here in the Hudson Valley and how we can responsibly participate in LEED, GREEN and Sustainability.
LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system and certification program for new commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings that was developed by US Green Building Council. Projects that are registered with the USGBC and comply with their rating system may be awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum certification. Currently under development are rating systems for commercial interiors and existing buildings.
Meyer Contracting believes that building “Green” incorporates the ability to build buildings that integrates design, materials; methods of building and ways of living that sustain our natural resources.
“Green” building is "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs". Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design. Green buildings promote resource conservation, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation features; consider environmental impacts and waste minimization; create a healthy and comfortable environment; reduce operation and maintenance costs; and address issues such as historical preservation, access to public transportation and other community infrastructure systems. The entire life cycle of the building and its components is considered, as well as the economic and environmental impact and performance. Traditional building practices often overlook the interrelationships between a building, its components, its surroundings, and its occupants. “Typical” buildings consume more of our resources than necessary, negatively impact the environment, and generate a large amount of waste.
Do Green Design and Sustainable Design mean the same thing?
Green Design often implies an interest in design that protects people’s health and well-being (e.g., indoor air quality enhancement, use of ‘natural’ products, and safer environments for people). Sustainable Design often implies an interest in design that is intended to protect the global environment and the world’s ecosystems for future generations (e.g. alternative energy sources, rain forest protection, resource depletion). The terms Green Architecture, Environmentally Responsible Design, and Environmentally Conscious Design are sometimes used to imply an interest in both green and sustainable design.