The Life Foundation actively pursues government real estate lease and development opportunities to significantly lower agency facility costs and to use the income generated from these opportunities to support local charitable endeavors that compliment agency objectives. To that end the Foundation has developed several programs to develop affordable, sustainable, highly efficient healthy green buildings for the government agencies and schools we serve. The Foundation integrates our development structures with proven green building strategies vetted by the US Green Building Council (the “USGBC”). The USGBC is at the forefront of developments in this arena and the Life Foundation is a national member of the USGBC. (Much of the information below comes from the USGBC)
USGBC studies indicate that the built environment has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health, and productivity. In the United States alone, buildings account for: 65% of electricity consumption, 36% of energy use, 39% of greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and 12% of potable water consumption.
Benefits of Green Building include, but are not limited to, Environmental benefits: Enhanced and protected ecosystems and biodiversity; Improved air and water quality; Reduced solid waste; and Conservation of natural resources. Economic benefits include: Reduced operating costs; Enhanced asset value and profits; Improved employee productivity and satisfaction; and Optimized life-cycle economic performance. Health and community benefits include: Improved air, thermal, and acoustic environments; Enhanced occupant comfort and health; Minimized strain on local infrastructure; and Contribution to the overall quality of life.
The Foundation strives to be at the forefront of green government building practices to create the optimal environment for the government agency occupying our facilities. The Foundation uses The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating SystemTM, a voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction and operations. LEED is transforming the marketplace by providing a nationally recognized certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry.
Green buildings do not have to cost a penny more. LEED certified projects to date demonstrate that you can achieve LEED certification and reap its many benefits with a common-sense approach to design with no additional dollars. Depending on your green building strategy and the level of certification your project is targeting, there may be mid- and long-term ROI associated with additional green features that merits an investment in first costs.