Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: StuVi 2 sufficiently green

In yesterday’s editorial ‘Show us the green,’ (Oct. 16, p. 6) The Daily Free Press mentioned the University’s refusal to LEED certify Phase 2 of the Student Village, even though it’s only 1 percent of the total project cost.
Really? One percent of that total project cost is more than $1 million. The big problem with the articles the Free Press ran about this last semester was that all of its sources were grossly misinformed.
They claimed that the reason why BU says certification was cost-prohibitive was because they would have to pay more to build green ‘-‘- i.e., spend more on sustainable materials, energy efficient light bulbs, uber-friendly flushing toilets. What your reporters failed to mention to these sources was that StuVi 2 already includes many of these items, which would make it a LEED certifiable building.
The building was designed by an accredited firm, with LEED accredited architects. It has two-way flush toilets, energy efficient motion sensor lighting, etc. These are expensive things.
Now the USGBC doesn’t come down to every building to certify it for free. The cost, on top of everything they’ve paid out to make this building environmentally friendly, is an additional 1 percent (and that is a very conservative estimate ‘-‘- many sources will tell you it can cost between 4 and 6 percent of the total project cost).
It’s tough, because both sides make good cases for and against certification. But do we really want the university to spend $1 million on a certificate? I’d rather see a $62.50 tuition credit for all 16,000 undergrads.

Brandon Epstein
former Daily Free Press columnist
SMG ’09

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