Well, the Natural Resource Defense Counsel (NRDC) walked its talk and over the last couple of decades has either built or renovated its offices “with the goal of putting our environmental principles into practice.”
The results have been astounding. The self-described “action group,” has offices in four U.S. cities, Santa Monica, CA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; and San Francisco, CA.
Using their San Francisco location as an example, they state on the website that the remodel of the San Francisco facility “began with a commitment to create an airy, energy-efficient and healthy environment without paying higher than market-rate construction costs. The resulting office is a showcase of renewable materials and energy-efficient solutions. What's more, nearly 75 percent of the waste generated by demolition and construction was kept out of landfills, either through re-use or recycling. And we met our goal: the project didn't cost any more than a traditional renovation.”
(NRDC's San Francisco office)
Overall, just in cost savings, their green practice resulted in:
• current annual operating cost savings of $65,000
• savings in operating costs of $650,000 in ten years energy savings
• energy savings of more than $1 per square foot from 1993 to 2003
But here’s the kicker. If all “commercial buildings were as efficient as NRDC’s offices,” they say, “ we could reduce annual energy consumption nationally by over 100,000 megawatts -- enough to power the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Dallas, and Houston. This would avoid the need for almost 300 large power plants.” [Emphasis by us.]
This boggles us with the possibilities. We hope it excites you, too.
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