OUR VIEW: Invest in green building or pay later

The phrase “invest now or pay later” has been used in a number of situations and not just in terms of finances. Another use can come in the form of energy efficiency and homes.

The phrase “invest now or pay later” has been used in a number of situations and not just in terms of finances.

Another use can come in the form of energy efficiency and homes.

Habitat for Humanity Boundary is currently in the process of working on its next project, a multiplex on 72nd Avenue, and it is meeting Built Green standards, which means that it is being constructed and insulated in such a way that it will be very energy efficient.

The Living Arts Centre in Christina Lake was built in similar fashion, conforming to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards; with locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials used in its construction.

While the positives of such buildings are eco-friendliness, building a house to environmental standards isn’t without negatives, as the cost is said to increase significantly.

Part of Grand Forks’ Sustainable Community Plan involves ensuring a healthy environment and one of the proposals to achieve that is the establishment of “green-building code policies and the monitoring of the BC Green Building Code development process” as well as the development of incentives for building residences, non-polluting businesses and industries using “green” principles.

Some residents have expressed concerns with such proposals, as the added costs of the “green” way of building might deter people from building a home in Grand Forks but spending more to have an energy efficient home at the beginning is beneficial in the long run.

There have been proposals to increase the cost of electricity announced by both Fortis BC and BC Hydro – it has been suggested however that Hydro cut rate increases – and since the cost of power isn’t likely to come down, increasing how efficiently houses burn energy is a way of absorbing the hit of the increases.

Yes, adhering to environmental standards costs more than the conventional method currently being used to build most homes but considering green building standards will be beneficial in the future.

Spending now on such building practices will allow you to not pay as much on energy use in the future. Invest now or pay later.

– The Grand Forks Gazette