TEDx: Andy Cohen

This presentation isn’t really new to anyone who studies sustainable design, but it is a good quick presentation hitting all of the highlights, and should serve as a good model for those who want to convince a client to build sustainably.  This presentation starts with the global data that is generally accepted about climate change, moves to the data supplied by the USGBC on energy consumption and CO2 emissions, covers a few mega projects that Gensler is working on, then wraps it up with the future of LEED and a little William McDonough reference.

I could not make out the references for the study of construction costs for sustainable design, but it seems a little low.  This is probably due to the fact that most of these studies cover projects that are in the top 5% of the market, meaning large projects that can absorb high soft costs.  These studies rarely indicate total project cost anyway, which by far misses the mark on giving real data on the real estate deliverable.

Still, he makes a solid point that sustainable design should fit both large and small projects.  I have personally designed and built very high performance buildings for no additional cost, but LEED certification was out of the question.  Part of his hidden point is that good architects will do this.  To reference McDonough myself, it is the responsibility of the designer (architect, industrial designer, chemist, etc) to come up with the solution – we should have to ask the user for a concession (high cost, loss of quality, more time) to get us there.