The color of change

In the 21st century, it's green - and more are warming to the benefits of environmentally friendly development

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Some people lead by talking. Some by cheerleading. Some by cajoling.

Braye Boardman leads by example. And right now, he's leading the way toward "greener" buildings in Augusta.

Boardman and his brother Clay, local businessmen and philanthropists both, are in the vanguard of a new breed of developers here who believe that going green is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.

One wonderful example is the old furniture building Braye is renovating into office and loft space at 1019 Broad St.

While Boardman explained to Chronicle editorial board members about environmentally friendly construction, he leaned back in one of several chairs made from recycled metal. The conference table in front of him was crafted from a diseased cypress tree removed from his yard. The ceiling is salvaged, antique pressed tin. His feet rested on flooring that's hypoallergenic, mold-resistant cork.

From reused materials from floor to ceiling to solar-powered hot water and a white pool liner for a roof, Boardman is showing how smart it is to be environmentally conscious in building and development.

He's having a ball doing it, too -- incorporating such things as an old airplane lavatory and a door hidden in a bookcase. But the point is quite serious: Green can make great business sense.

Others in town, such as ADP, are doing it too. But Boardman would love for the city to incorporate green technology and materials into its upcoming projects -- including the new sheriff's building and the trade, exhibit and event center. That goes for private projects such as the Hyatt hotel downtown and the vast new Kroc Center slated for the Harrisburg area.

In addition, Boardman suggests the city find ways to incentivize other private projects to go green.

Not only can such moves help the environment, but they can reduce utility costs and even reduce some construction costs -- resulting in an improved asset and a building that people prefer to work or do business in.

It can help the local economy, too: One of the principles of the LEED system for green buildings -- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- is buying as many materials locally as possible, thereby reducing the energy "footprint" to get them there.

The overall LEED approach, developed and certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, leads to "energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts," the council says.

Not all public incentives for green buildings need to be monetary, Boardman notes, suggesting streamlined permitting processes or other carrots for builders and developers. It's often referred to as the "greening of the building codes."

Some savings from green practices can flow back to the city -- literally, such as when a project is smart enough to reduce the amount of storm water entering the city's water system.

The Boardman brothers, besides other restoration projects, are also completing a green renovation of the historic William Robinson School in the Summerville area into luxury condos. They expect the green techniques used there will reduce energy costs by 30 percent, as compared with similar facilities.

That's one reason Boardman says green buildings can increase lease and resale rates.

It's all part of what's called "sustainable" real estate development. The premise: If you re-purpose older buildings or build new ones that are more energy-efficient and less environmentally intrusive, socioeconomic windfalls will follow.

This concept has huge implications -- both on how our economy will improve and on how we live.

Venture capitalist John Doerr, who helped fund the startups for such giants as Google and Amazon, told CBS' 60 Minutes : "I like to say that the new energy technologies could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century."

At 1019 Broad St., the centuries are merging.

Six furniture stores have occupied the structure since around World War I -- starting with brothers Albert B. and George S. Culpepper, and ending with Donald Reynolds almost 10 years ago. Among the operators was Walter Green, who rebuilt the structure after a fire circa 1930, and whose name is still on the building.

Yet, in 2010, the name "green" on the facade has never been more apt.

May it serve as an example to all.

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Riverman1
93494
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Riverman1 02/27/10 - 10:28 pm
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Sounds good anyway. I'd like

Sounds good anyway. I'd like to scrutinize the studies that show a pool liner is better for a roof in addition to the other studies supporting the other measures. But I'm an admitted cynic.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/27/10 - 10:42 pm
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I wholeheartedly support any

I wholeheartedly support any "green" technology that cuts back on oil, electric & gas usage. Anything that decreases our dependence on the Arabs is a fabulous thing.

I would love to see the AC do a series of articles on solar & wind energy. I've often wondered why it is so expensive to install up front & why it seems to have not made many huge technological improvements.

When I retire I plan to build a super energy-efficient house that runs on solar & possibly wind power, if they can get the cost of that down to a reasonable amount.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 02/27/10 - 10:48 pm
0
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I know a guy who made a house

I know a guy who made a house underground in Harlem. His wife left him and he remarried so I don't know if he ever actually moved into it.

Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 02/28/10 - 01:31 am
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They got Dave Barbee to turn

They got Dave Barbee to turn green too!

carcraft
28447
Points
carcraft 02/28/10 - 03:57 am
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British Petroleum did rather

British Petroleum did rather extensive work in alternative energy and had problems, here is a balanced article about it. www.environmentalleader.com/2009/06/.../bp-shutters-alternative-energy-hq/ Of course you never read about this side of BP because every body wanted to portray big oil as being evil...

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 02/28/10 - 06:12 am
0
0
Chillen says "I

Chillen says "I wholeheartedly support any "green" technology...." Well, what about these florescent light bulbs that are replacing the incandescent ones? The new ones use less energy therefore less dependence. And Congress wants to ban the incandescent ones but have no plan to recycle the new ones. When you break one in your home, office, etc. the directions fall just short of requiring a HASMAT team to clean it up. Meanwhile we are just throwing them away in some landfill so they can seep mercury into the water table. "Greener" is NOT always better.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 02/28/10 - 07:42 am
0
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Green? Do not be fooled. I

Green? Do not be fooled. I want to see a 30% reduction in energy cost as measured by their GA Power bill. I think this claim is exagerated, therefore the whole article has lost credibility. Cork because it is hypoalergenic? I don't think so. I ask anyone that has to borrow money to build, "Green?"

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/28/10 - 08:46 am
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overburdened tax payer. I

overburdened tax payer. I said I support technology that reduced our dependence on Arabs, I don't really consider a light bulb "technology" like solar panels or wind power. In fact I think those bulb are horrible. Al Gore must be invested in them somehow.

I'm not a greenie or environmentalist - in fact, I'm very, very far from it. I think most of those people - most specifically the climate change folks are way off base. I would just like to see the world move away from oil & gas and take all the world's money away from the Arabs. It might slow terrorism down a bit.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 02/28/10 - 08:52 am
0
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OK Chillen, I can respect

OK Chillen, I can respect that. All we have to do to become oil and gas independent is open up ANWR for drilling and the US will be set for a long long time.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/28/10 - 08:53 am
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I agree completely but our

I agree completely but our greenies will never let than happen. It's maddening! Stupid politicians.

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 09:21 am
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Our great grandparents knew

Our great grandparents knew how to live "green" or as I like to all it "frugal conservation". Pots, pans, tools, furniture and bedding were all recycled through "Wills". We need to "relearn". l One of the most "cost effect, clean air/water measures that could be taken is to "ban all non-medical plastics/styrofoam". I would venture that more crude oil is used to make plastic/styrofoam than is used in internal combustion engines. Glass/returnable pop bottles, milk bottles and food containers. Silica sand is the most available "natural" building material we have. Recycle old building instead of tearing them down. Make recycling "profitable for the one recycling". Don't make it an additional expense. There is technology, howbeit, most patents have been bought by BP, EXXONMOBIL and SHELL. We must learn to not be a "disposable society". Shred and mulch household paper. Shred and mulch all "plant material". There are so many things we could do that are "environmental freak stuff", just common sense.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 02/28/10 - 09:27 am
0
0
How are you going to turn

How are you going to turn silica into glass? Leave it in the sun?

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 02/28/10 - 09:39 am
0
0
This move to green is years

This move to green is years behind. Mother Earth news was teaching us all of this in the 70s. Visits to their research center is North Carolina was very informative. I built a super-insulated house with passive solar in 1982 for about 16 dollars a square foot. It works great and more important than the energy saving is the comfort and quiet level. It is 21 inches from the outside of the brick to the inside of the sheetrock. Be careful with very tight houses without air to air heat exchangers. Crack the windows open at night if you don't have an air to air; or it is sinus and ear-infection time for you and your children.

baronvonreich
1
Points
baronvonreich 02/28/10 - 12:52 pm
0
0
deekster has obviously never

deekster has obviously never been around a glass furnace.

jack
10
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jack 02/28/10 - 03:14 pm
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Chillen, there are many

Chillen, there are many aspects to the use of wind to create electricity. Just a few is 1. the wind doesn't blow all the time and you can't store enough electricity for any large need such as a city or town 2. Transmission lines take up a lot of space as do the wind mills and 3 wind mills that have been erected create so much noise that the locals don't want them any more and last but not least, they are ugly..

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 02/28/10 - 07:53 pm
0
0
When I did a study in 1980

When I did a study in 1980 windmills wouldn't work here. Also we are too far South for cool tubes to work (underground pipes you pull outside air through and into your house).

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