Though California is mired in one of the worst financial crisis' of its history, certain parts of the state are looking to invest in sustainability, as the long-term benefits provided by such an investment would far outweigh the upfront costs.
According to The Orange County Register, the use of sustainable architecture in Orange County was mulled over for quite some time by local government officials, and, after the benefits were outlined, the decision was made to move forward with several associated projects.
Though some of the development is linked to local government projects and private expenditures on outdated office buildings, a number of people in the area are looking to make upgrades.
According to the news outlet, Wayne and Shannon Inouye, residents of Corona del Mar, decided to make significant upgrades to their two-story house in order to maximize on the efficiency of the residence.
Lower long-term operating costs have motivated both residents and business owners, and each group has increased the number of projects that include significant energy efficient upgrades. The USGBC office in the county has seen an uptick in activity, especially with cost-conscious companies.
"LEED certification has become a significant market value characteristic," Edward Kweskin, chairman of U.S. Green Building Council, Orange County chapter, told the Register. "It might take a company about three to five years to pay back the first costs of achieving LEED status, he said. "But after that, the savings go to the bottom line."
Such upgrades often include radiant heating systems, as these product help to cut costs sharply by reducing the amount of energy that is required to provide warmth to a residence.