Green & Design - May/June 2009 - (Page 54)

business & finance Green Gets Political The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 breathes new life into the green scene By Marc Spector AIA, Principal, Spector Group Lately there has been plenty of talk about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and how it will impact green development and architecture . States are in line to receive $40 billion of the stimulus funds, which will create distinct opportunities for sustainability-minded trades that can turn the money into construction contracts. Who will benefit from the Recovery Act? Private developers, as well as public-private partnerships, have a host of options as a result of this legislation, which specifically delineates for adaptive re-use with renewable energy sources. In recent years, there has been an enormous misalignment, with the emphasis on the importance of creating new green buildings. Considering that 99 percent of the world’s buildings already exist, it would make more sense to focus on retrofitting these occupied buildings, as they account for the largest carbon footprint. With increased education, much of which is being done by architects and other construction trades, adaptive re-use will become the best way to lessen the harmful fossil fuels in our environment that contribute to global warming. Remarkably, Spector Group is presently retrofitting 5 million sq. ft. of space in New York area buildings that the firm designed back in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, and anticipates even more in the years to come. Since the stimulus money is 100 percent federally funded, there is no need for states to put forth a matching share, a costly measure that is typical in construction. This incentive is especially attractive for public works and infrastructure jobs, enabling projects that have been on hold to move forward expeditiously. What developers and owners need to realize most is that the stimulus money must be spent or it will disappear, but in order to qualify for these funds—which were not already allocated and are therefore up for grabs at the discretion of the Governor—a project must be “shovel ready” within 120 days. An excellent first step is to meet with local elected officials, mayors, and village 54 | May/June 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green & Design - May/June 2009

Green & Design - May/June 2009
LEED v3: A Highly Evolved Solution
Book Review
Learning Curve
Environmental Trends in Kitchen Design
The Butterfly Effect
Eastern Promise
Social Science
Retail Remedy
They Speak for the Trees
Up to the Challenge
Here Come the Lawyers
Green Gets Political
The Hardest Part of Being Green
Products: Designer’s Picks
Sources and Ad Index

Green & Design - May/June 2009