Triple Bottom Line
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a cyclic thought and action process: engage stakeholders, understand the problem, find solutions, repeat, and repeat again.
One result of TBL in the design and construction industry is that we are finally moving past the egocentric view that we can design whatever we like and then engineer the systems to make the building comfortable for others to live and work in. We can save money and energy as well as improve our health if we incorporate location-based diversity into how we design and build and renovate buildings. We also see that construction work is the one endeavor that can improve the local economy. We can intensify this benefit by sourcing local materials and by employing local talent that understands the regional landscape, flora, fauna, and workforce issues. Renovation of existing buildings is even more powerful because it improves our existing building stock, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduces energy costs and usually improves local appeal and tax base.
We know that balancing people, planet, and profit (TBL) will give us the best project for the dollars we spend. Clients are demanding it. Laws are requiring it. Incentives and grants are supporting it. Even the planet is calling for it.
So what’s not to love?
- Green Building is a complex puzzle. It’s hard work to design and build and cost out even a simple project well, and many people are only at the start of the long learning curve that will culminate in true green building.
- There is a perceived budget hit with green building. Green construction can actually cost less up-front if the team is willing to work together to make tough trade-off decisions that are part of the complexity of project planning.
- It’s a busy and ever-changing world out there. Products and technologies have changed and increased in number, exponentially on both counts.
Green building is “common sense” but, until common sense is indeed as common as we would wish, we each need to work a little harder to set goals that serve our clients, our budgets, our stewardship of planet Earth, and our ongoing health and well being.