Yesterday we went through a townhouse that had been LEED certified (silver certification). Listening to the builder describe what it took to achieve LEED certification was almost comical.
Roof Insulation – The inspector kept telling him the roof insulation fine, they’d close up the ceiling, and then be told it wasn’t OK at which point they had to tear all the sheetrock off the ceiling and fix the problem. How “green” is it to waste that much sheetrock?
Plywood – “Green” plywood costs 3 times more than regular plywood. Isn’t all plywood made of recycled/waste material? I don’t get it…
Green Paint – …is just bad paint. It doesn’t adhere very well and the color doesn’t match properly so you can’t just touch up a problem – you have to repaint the entire wall. How is that “green”?
Dumpster Recycling – Putting the waste material through recycling instead of just sending it to a landfill costs about 40-50% more. That one I sorta understand, though I wouldn’t want to pay for it.
It just seems to me like a lot of LEED certification is just trying to make money on an already expensive product.
There are parts of green architecture that make sense to me – the ones that save you money. Good insulation, energy efficient heating and cooling… But charging 3 times as much for plywood is just crazy.
We’re going to stick to just being energy efficient and leave all the stuff with needlessly inflated prices to the people who seem to have way more money than we do…