Green Building: A Real Estate Revolution?

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Date: 2010
Publisher: National Public Radio, Inc. (NPR)
Document Type: Audio file; Broadcast transcript
Length: 1,143 words

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

While much of the real estate market struggles, one area of the construction industry has seen stunning growth. Green building now accounts for about a third of new construction in the U.S. That's up from just 2 percent in 2005. These are the latest figures from McGraw- Hill Construction, which tracks the building business, and they suggest a revolution inside the industry.

There are many factors and many players in this move toward green building. But one company and its rating system have played a key role, as NPR's Franklyn Cater reports.

Unidentified Man #1: Oh, there you go. (Unintelligible) motion detectors on the fence.

FRANKLYN CATER: The new Ross School of Business building at the University of Michigan is full of environment-friendly technology.

Professor ANDY HOFFMAN (Sustainable Enterprise, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan): One of humorous things about studying this kind of topic is you can talk about dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals in polite company.

CATER: Andy Hoffman is a professor of sustainable enterprise. He teaches a course in green construction. And along with facilities manager John Bresette, he's giving me a tour. Among the highlights, oddly enough, is this men's room equipped with dual-flush toilets.

Mr. JOHN BRESETTE (Facilities Manager, Ross School of Business): Saves a little water if you pull up, opposed to pushing down.

CATER: 0.8 in 1.6 gallons?


(Soundbite of toilet flush)

Mr. BRESETTE: So even with the full flush, you're just getting the 1.6.

Prof. HOFFMAN: It's pretty intuitive. I think this is the more...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A236579544