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This article looks into the critical subject of embracing green building codes and standards in the construction industry of the United States. Based on an analysis of buildings that have been approved for embracing green practices across the United States, the researcher reveals that there are significant variations in the level at which green practices are enforced by different companies in the construction industry in the United States. As such, the researchers ascertain the need to rethink and develop new standards other than the LEED system that is used to certify green buildings.
Environmentalism is now than ever before considered to be a central issue in all attributes of development across the industry. The building industry in the United States is not spared when it comes to the question of embracing the green paradigm in building and construction. The concern here is about the extent to which building and construction experts consider the issue of green building in their construction activities. This paper presents a critique of a research article from USA Today titled, “In U.S. building industry, is it too easy to be green?”. (Schnaars and Morgan 1).
Research question and objectives
A research conducted by the USA Today revealed that the U.S. Green Building Council, a body that is mandated to certify buildings that are green in the United States, has certified approximately 13500 buildings that are used for commercial purposes. This is an interesting thing to note, considering that fact that any building that is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council is required to have passed the scrutiny under LEED, which is the rating system that ascertains green buildings as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (Schnaars and Morgan 1).
The main question that is explored in the article is whether the green experts pay attention to most or all the details of green building as enumerated in the LEED system. What is observed out of the constructions that have been so far certified is that the designers do not consider all the details of green building as required by the U.S. Green Building Council, but they tailor buildings in their own way as long as they factor green attributes in the design of buildings. This is notable in the assertion that, “designers chart their own course to certification, choosing from roughly 50 options that range from minimizing light pollution and storm water runoff to maximizing interior daylight and ventilation” (Schnaars and Morgan 1).
Subjects and target population for the study
It is apparent that this study focuses on the commercial building and construction industry. The research further pays attention to the entire public, more so the general population who are the consumers in the sense of using the buildings, the individuals, and companies in the construction industry, and the people who advocate for green practices in the United States in particular and the world at large. While the study does not directly target the construction industry in the United States, it does reveal a number of things about the justification of green practices in the commercial building and construction industry in the United States. It is evident that most builders in the commercial building industry in the US make gains when they align with the design as embedded in LEED (Schnaars and Morgan 1).
The authors of the research highly deployed comparative analyses in ascertaining the embrace of green practices in buildings across the United States. With the graph showing the increase in the number of green buildings in the United States, it was easy to ascertain other issues about green buildings. Among these issues is the question of cost and how it is met by the investors in the building industry. Comparisons revealed that green buildings often cost more, especially for the builders who enforce most of the better green practices in construction as laid down by LEED, as well as other practices that keep emerging.
Strengths and weakness of the research
The most interesting thing in the article is that it pays attention to a specific research issue; the level at which green practices are factored in construction of commercial buildings in the United States. This is vital in citing the differences as has been done in the article.
A look at the paper denotes the deployment of a high level of comparison, which means that most of the comparisons might have been done without the deployment of real research for justification of outcomes.
The study reveals significant differences in the quality of buildings that are LEED certified. In other words, LEED is an ineffective way of ascertaining the buildings that embrace green practices in their design and construction. The research further reveals that the LEED system has its weaknesses, especially in implementation and should not be used to set up green building and construction standards in the building and construction industry. The researchers point at the need to come up with other practices that can enhance the intensity with which the building companies in the commercial building and construction industry embrace green practices.
Schnaars, Christopher, and Hannah Morgan. “In U.S. Building Industry, is it Too Easy to be Green?” USA Today, 2013. Web.