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You've just received the good news that your building has earned LEED certification. Congratulations! You officially have a green building. Or is it a sustainable building? Maybe you think of it as high-performance? Does it even matter?
At the risk of arguing over semantics, some would say it does — that while each really does have a particular definition, each can be used effectively in different situations to talk about buildings that are energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
"Green" may be the buzzword, but if upper managers still don't care about green, or don’t believe in "green for the sake of green," try a different approach. Talk about the building as sustainable - that it'll prevent the need for future resources (and money). Or define it is high-performance, and talk about your energy-efficient systems and how those systems functioning together as a unit (as opposed to the old, piecemeal way) will save lots and lots of money on utility costs. Indeed, it's often this last one - tangible savings due to efficiency - that gets you the most attention from both upper managers and occupants.