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Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits, and Strategies [Paperback]

by Greg Kats
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 5, 2009 159726668X 978-1597266680
This eye-opening book reports the results of a large-scale study based on extensive financial and technical analyses of more than 150 green buildings in the United States and ten other countries. Using sophisticated modeling techniques, the study analyzes the costs and financial benefits of building green on both large and small scales, and addresses the role of the built environment in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The author reports that green buildings cost roughly 2 per cent more to build than conventional buildings - far less than previously assumed - and provide a wide range of financial, health, and social benefits. In addition, green buildings reduce energy use by an average of 33 per cent. The book also evaluates the cost-effectiveness of 'green community development' and presents the results of the first-ever survey of green buildings constructed by faith-based organizations. A compelling combination of solid facts and specific examples, it proves that green design is both cost-effective and earth-friendly.

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Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits, and Strategies + Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature
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Editorial Reviews


“By every measure, green building is an idea whose time is now. Kats’ ongoing work in this area is part of the reason, and this book will be an invaluable resource to builders, cities and companies on why and how to cost-effectively green their own built worlds.”

(Rick Fedrizzi president and CEO, USGBC 2009-08-25)

“Building green offers the potential for important health and economic benefits. As our nation faces the twin mandates to improve health and control costs, analyses such as this one— including full benefit accounting— are indispensable.”

(Howard Frumkin director, National Center for ENV Health/ ATSTR, CDC 2009-08-25)

“Everyone who is serious about climate change should get this book. Greg Kats brings a deep knowledge of energy and construction to show that the benefits of green construction outweigh the costs and could jump-start a national revolution toward the use of renewable energy sources.”
(Don Kennedy president emeritus, Stanford University; Bing Professor of EnvScience and Policy 2009-08-25) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gregory Kats is a managing director of the investment firm Good Energies. He was formerly a managing principal of Capital E, a national clean energy technology consulting firm. Previously he was Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2003 he wrote the first in depth study of the long-term economic benefits of green buildings, The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press (November 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159726668X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597266680
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money, November 19, 2013
By betula
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book for class and found it to be complete drivel. I felt that the writer tries too hard to make his case for building green but overall does a disservice because his arguments are weak. One of the claims he made was (paraphrasing here, since I threw the book away after the course ended) that developers can save 45% (or some ridiculously large percentage) by doing x instead of y. I read it and was thought, wow that's a lot of money! So I look up the citation and dig a little further, and the reference was based on ONE building site in remote lake-side Minnesota. Seriously? Building in Minnesota is the standard? I wouldn't recommend this book for several reasons: (1) if you know "a lot" about green already you would find this to be a lousy reference, (2) if you know "some" and want to know more, this may just give you the wrong numbers to work with if you want to talk intelligently with others who actually know more, (3) if you know "nothing" and want a broad overview, you'll be better served by reading wikipedia.

I gave it 2 stars because there *were* some valid points in the book, but you can find similar numbers/stats for free on the internet from the Department of Energy websites and subsites, from your utility, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Data driven EVIDENCE to make a strong case March 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"I've already recommended this book to a client of mine, a builder / developer who frequently must convince owners, investors, communities and other stakeholders of the benefits of building green. This is his new bible! Thank you, Mr. Kats, for taking what clearly must have been painstaking, comprehensive and exhaustive efforts to gather and organize SO much hard data in such a readable and presentable form. We love all the charts and graphs (some of us prefer data presented visually). This will be the go-to resource whenever anyone nees to "make the case" for sustainable building decisions. Even at a premium price, this book is already worth 100 times that amount in research time and money saved." Jonathan Flaks, M.C.C. - Green Executive Coach
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5.0 out of 5 stars got for class..but is a good read February 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
got for class but is a good read. easy to navigate on kindle and makes for a great reference. another good one is Reinventing Fire by Amory Lovins
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This excellent book shows how greening our buildings can not only make a dramatic difference in energy consumption but also make our living and working spaces much more comfortable and productive. And the kicker is that it need not cost more to build green: the upfront costs are typically under 2% of the building cost and pay back 4-6x over 20 years. The author worked with over one hundred architects to document the costs and benefits of greening. The findings are enormously important as we confront the challenge of climate change.
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