In today’s complex world of commercial real estate development, it is critical that we identify all mistakes occurring that negatively impacts the health of our planet and all of it’s inhabitants. Green Diamond’s mission is to solve these mistakes and provide sustainable solutions for a cleaner planet now and for the future. Through our team’s research and in-depth analysis, we believe we have uncovered the missing link necessary to ensure prosperous and safe building practices for future generations. Almost every stage of a building’s life cycle is managed by separate stakeholders. Most of these stakeholders are involved short-term and have incomplete links to each other, this is the DISCONNECT. Starting from inception, during a building’s pre-development stage, real estate developers seek money from a variety of sources to help fund the project. Typically, they receive capital from Equity Groups. Equity Groups are investment firms that have combined the resources of a large number of investors in order to capture greater size deals/returns. The main objective for all Equity Groups is to maximize profit as quickly as possible; it’s their fiduciary obligation. This limits the Equity Groups ability to take on Green projects that don’t provide the needed return expected by the Equity Groups investors. As a result, our planet and its people suffer tremendously, leading to a massive increase of pollution and a multitude of toxic effects on the environment. This is the root cause of the failed “sick building” business model we must fix. How do we fix this? We must move away from the “sick building” approach and start developing strategies to create “healthy buildings”. I think we can all agree there is a moral obligation to build green, but in order to get green projects off the floor, we must showcase the business case for building green. There must be a clear financial incentive to build green sustainable real estate. There is a need for lifecycle thinking as a primary approach to sustainability in the building and construction sector. What does this mean? Every action taken with respect to a building–purchase decisions; using equipment or materials; making investments–triggers a chain of events and impacts the building. Not only does the building itself get effected, but the surrounding community and beyond can have real consequences on the well-being of people, land, air and water, plants and animals, and generations to come. These in turn have consequences on the future of the building itself. Traditionally, buildings have been analyzed according to their individual components and optimized separately. The inter-linkages between each stage – DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, USE, MAINTENANCE, DEMOLITION, and the broader, collective effect of these components is often not considered, nor are their upstream and/or downstream impacts. Some examples of life cycle thinking include:
- Comparing various types of products which offer the same service.
- Identifying the processes or life stages of a product or service which show inefficiencies in the use of materials and energy, consequently allowing economic savings.
- Identifying and quantify greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
- Conceiving new products, processes or services in agreement with the principles of sustainable development (that is, designing for the environment).
- Supplying information for a scientific and objective basis for impact analyses.
- Instituting a green procurement policy.
- Use of materials that have green label certification Instituting an environmental management system for proper maintenance of buildings to ensure minimal impact on the environment.