Just finished looking over the Mcgraw-Hill Residential Green Home Bldg Survey and was taken aback by a few slides and statistics.

I’m sure many of you have already seen this report as it’s been out for a few months, we were recently pointed to it by our colleague Brian Hill.

Mcgraw Hill Quality 1

The number one trigger for green builders is higher quality!

What processes are imposed during the green building process which ensures higher quality?

Is there required QA for all green buildings?

Are there points for quality in the LEED scoring system?

None (which we’re aware of) that have anything to do with verifying that assemblies are in fact installed correctly.

Apparently the industry is going green because we want higher quality – yet there are few if any requirements for quality of proper assemblies in the current green building movement. Green does not mean higher quality.

Green is green. Energy efficient is energy efficient. Sustainable is sustainable. Quality is quality; and for the record:

Quality = Constitutional make-up + Aesthetics + Function

If you want higher quality then we must change this culture and adopt effective Quality Assurance into the Green Building Environment. Without a significant change and adoption of a program like QAO (Quality Assurance Observation), we too will be duped into a mistruth that “green =high quality.”

A few examples show us that this is in fact not true:

LEED Certified Courthouse Square Negotiating With Insurers, Mulling Over Demolition

In the middle of City Center Las Vegas (Development of 5 LEED Gold Structures) is a building that will likely be torn down because of construction defects.

You can achieve the highest level of certification offered by the United States Green Building Council (i.e. LEED); you can pass every inspection required under the International Building Code; you can get every Federal Tax credit offered by Energy Star; and you can pass every inspection required by third party and municipalities; and when your project is complete, you can still end up with a product that has major construction defects.

Mcgraw Hill Quality 2

So while a takeaway of the survey is that “association with quality drives green,” for green to actually mean higher quality there must be a change in culture within the industry.

We believe that this change comes though education, partnerships, and successful projects.

We’d love your feedback.