An architect desiring a high LEED rating on every project he’s involved with discussed a growing challenge he would like to overcome. He determined that overcoming the challenge will give him a competitive advantage, allowing him to successfully launch more LEED – qualified projects.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it’s a system that helps incorporate green building technologies into construction projects. The goal of LEED is to encourage environmentally responsible buildings and foster the efficient use of resources.
The LEED architect encourages all clients to incorporate the most up-to-date energy efficiency technology during the initial project design meeting. He makes it clear that the energy components that are used in the construction process will either benefit, or economically and environmentally hinder, the occupants of the structure for years to come.
The challenge he faces during these meetings was described in this way:
Many clients only want to comply with the minimal building code because of their desire to keep the cost per square foot of construction to a minimum. The bad part about that strategy is twofold. First, the minimal building codes can be met using energy technology that’s from an era when energy costs were insignificant. We should be building with the thought of dealing with the energy costs of the future! Secondly the minimal building codes can result in an energy use per square foot that is much higher than what can be obtained with the cutting edge technology that is available today. It’s not efficient!
The architect had heard of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and wanted to learn how PACE could help him overcome the challenge of only meeting the minimal building code that his clients perceived was their best financial option. The EAGM energy team provided the in-depth PACE education and showcased all the benefits PACE makes possible.
Out of the entire PACE benefits, the architect focused on three that he will use to educate his clients. His desire is to keep it simple! These three benefits made the architect realize PACE can help most of his projects incorporate energy efficient technologies today without ruining client budgets.
These are the PACE benefits he will be sharing with his clients:
- Access To Cash – there are literally billions of dollars waiting to fund PACE qualified energy efficiency projects. The key reason behind this volume of cash is because this unique financing program gives large investment funds (pension, life insurance, annuities, etc.) a low – risk vehicle for investing money.
- No Up-Front Costs – a wide variety of cutting edge energy technology can be incorporated into projects with no up-front cost. The costs are wrapped into a property assessment (like sewer, water and paving projects) that is paid back over time – for many projects up to 20 years – and all out of the energy savings. For the majority of projects, the energy savings must be greater than the entire cost of the project including equipment, labor, financing and legal. Because a PACE loan is considered a tax assessment, the financing does not have to show up as a loan on the owner’s balance sheet – a huge plus!
- Building Becomes More Competitive – energy efficient buildings have a documented advantage in the marketplace. There is greater tenant comfort, they cost less to operate and maintain, provide a greater return on investment, foster lower vacancy rates and offer a key tenant acquisition advantage.
A competitive advantage is achieved any time someone figures out a more effective way to handle a problem. The LEED architect realized that the up-front cost of energy efficiency products was a problem that most of his clients could not figure out how to overcome. By providing an affordable solution, as one of his standard services, the architect has achieved a competitive advantage allowing him to achieve a high LEED rating on all the projects his name is connected with. A win for everyone!
The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan works with businesses and commercial building owners desiring increased profitability and environmentally friendly facilities through energy efficiency. In conjunction with Midland Tomorrow they will host a Property Assessed Clean Energy seminar on February 16, 2016. The goal of the seminar is to raise the awareness of this unique energy efficiency financing tool. The seminar will provide valuable information for commercial property owners, contractors, energy efficiency suppliers and county leaders. For more information and to register, click HERE.