Green buildings are worth the extra cost

Gustavo Lopez, News Editor

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an eco-friendly and innovative approach to a building’s structure and setup; a slightly elevated increase in cost is nothing compared to the “green” future in the long-run.

LEED is a voluntary, third-party rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.

At a Sept. 17 board of trustees meeting, the design and development of buildings and structures on campus were LEED certified for the Cerritos College campus, approving environmentally-friendly implementations to all construction plans toward buildings or anything.

All in all, the implementations can lead to about a one to two-percent increase in the total cost of construction, according to David Moore, director of the physical plant and construction services.

A slight increase in cost is acceptable for such an addition to the construction plan, but it has to be done right. There’s already been an elevated cost as there is.

During a Sept. 30 board of trustees meeting, David El Fattal noted that the construction bids were at a higher cost than previously estimated, jumping from $37.5 million to $43.1 million.

This pushed back a few dates in terms of estimated completion times for buildings.

Now, if these increased costs aren’t particularly damning, then these LEED certifications – which are, again, a one to two-percent increase – are acceptable and doable.

One to two-percent may not seem like a lot, but when dealing with such a significant amount of money, it makes all the difference.

What also is to note, however, is that these estimated cost increases that El Fattal noted were after the board of trustees meeting that the buildings were approved to be LEED certified.

This means that these increased costs have the LEED implementations factored in.

But finance is one thing, what about the impact this will have on students?

Well, money for construction is used for just that – construction, so students need not worry about classes or anything like that being messed with.

No, having such a strong push and a significant amount of resources and time being put forth on these construction bids showcases that quality is of importance for those in charge of the construction program.

One thing illustrated by Moore is that having the LEED implementations saves a lot of energy; with water being conserved and less debris being utilized for construction.

Barring all the construction price increases and the details involved with that scenario, the LEED implementations are a welcome addition to Cerritos College.