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Table of Contents

Review of Books on Green Buildings – Part 5


The Green Building Bottom Line: The Real Cost of Sustainable Building

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Narrating Values, Shaping Values, Creating Value

(by Martin Melaver)


Part One:

  1. The narrative of indifferent capitalism
  2. A narrative of capitalism with a difference

Part Two:

  1. Organizational substructure of a business focused on shaping values.
  2. Shaping Values
  3. Values belong to the people, not the company
  4. Knowledge is critical
  5. Values are not to be deferred
  6. Authenticity is key
  7. Tension can be good

Part Three:

  1. Specific value creation a company realizes by undergoing the foundational work described.

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The first part of this chapter examines the different values inscribed in the two general narratives of capitalism – a narrative of indifferent capitalism and the narrative of capitalism with difference. These two narratives both consider the financial responsibilities as well as the socio-economic accountabilities of businesses. It then argues that acknowledging and committing to the narrative of capitalism with a difference is a crucial impetus to reshape the values within a business organization.

The second part of the chapter lays the three foundations by which company values are based. These are the following: basic guiding principles that serve as a bill of rights for the values driven company, structural concepts for which concrete values are based, and the green bottom line which has the ability to gain financial values through its practice. The third part of this chapter stresses the specific value creation which the company derives out of its foundational realignment with environmental values.

Chapter 2: “Green Glue”: HR Practices and Processes That Make Sustainable Values Stick

(by Zelda Tenenbaum)


  1. Description of how a company builds a cohesive culture after the value system is installed.
  2. A disciplined approach to culture creation through myriad HR processes.
  3. Different rituals that shape a green bottom line culture.
  4. The extraordinary language of a green bottom line culture.
  5. A historical context of a business’ culture.


This chapter depicts how an organization builds a cohesive culture after it has installed its own value system. This is illustrated b the Human Resource Manager of the Melaver, Inc. The lecturer focuses on the company’s earlier realization that a company must first be self-sustained in terms of its relationship to its community and its culture. Then, it can realize its profitability which is also aligned with the well-being and health of its stakeholders and its community.

A traditional business has a linear strategic blueprint while a green approach involves a flexible and integrated “green print” to creating and institutionalizing its culture that is a foundation of its core strategies and business plan. This chapter focuses on this “green print” which is a rigid approach to creating a culture through myriad human resource processes.

The chapter highlights the human resource processes that are linked to culture building. This includes governance issues such as the creation of hard and shared values, organizational design, collective vision, empathic leadership, decision making, and innovative leadership. There are also several rituals embedded in this culture making. The chapter also considers the context by which the business’ culture grew, which stresses on the integration of change and continuity.

Chapter 3: Green from the Inside Out

(by Tommy Linstroth)


  1. Realizing the values and culture of being green.
  2. Authenticity of being green.
  3. A framework for enhancing the authenticity of an organization’s message of sustainability.
  4. The metrics of sustainability.
  5. Other resources available to promote sustainability in an organization.
  6. Discussion on the future plans and actions.


A green company must be inherent and genuine. Hence, this chapter emphasizes the need for green organizations to be authentic and real. It considers how they can “walk the talk.” This is because stakeholders, most especially customers, are looking into the authenticity of the organization as they value their products and services. They also observe the companies’ trade practices.

Melaver’s created a framework for enhancing an organization’s authenticity in their environmental messages and mission. This chapter describes the overall challenge which green organizations face. It defines sustainability by how organization views it. It also assesses the organizational metrics of sustainability. A company’s sustainability metrics is computed, evaluated and improved. The chapter gives several proposals on improving the said metrics. Other resources are presented as helpful in creating sustainability in an organization.

The chapter concludes with a broader discussion on what are the next steps and vision of a green organization. This includes the evaluation of business partners and vendors to deepen the commitment to an authentic greening of the organization.

Chapter 4: Green Is the Color of Money

(by Denis Blackburne)


  1. The costs of gaining green expertise
  2. Assessment of the different ways a company could profit from greening.
  3. The short-term, tangible cost reductions reaped by a green company.
  4. The intangible, long-term cost reductions related with the decreased risk and liability.
  5. The pragmatic and tangible ways a green company create revenue and value.
  6. The enhanced value that generates a sustainable portfolio.
  7. The costs and benefits of greening expertise.
  8. The intangible value of a green company.


This chapter initially considers the investments in green expertise. It suggests that companies can learn from the valuable and expensive mistakes of others. It evaluates the various ways by which a company can recoup its green expertise investments and make more profits. The second part of the chapter delves into the tangible and short-term reductions of costs that a green company can realize. This includes reductions in loan underwriting, operational expenses and insurance premiums.

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It also presents the intangible and long term reductions in costs related with the company’s reduction of risk and liability. The fourth part of the chapter looks at the tangible and short term ways by which a green company can create revenue and value. It stresses on the capturing of market demand for green through extra green project development and consultancy work.

The chapter also presents the greening’s enhanced value that makes up a more sustainable portfolio. It then presents the case of gaining green expertise in the financial terms. A dummy company Green, Inc. is illustrated in order to provide an overall financial picture of the green bottom line of a green real estate company. The conclusion summarizes the X factor by a green company as its image, culture and reputation.

Chapter 5: Green Is (Also) the Color of Inexperience: Learning From a LEED Pilot Project

(by Randy Peacock)


  1. How Melaver, Inc. underwent a dramatic development to the first LEED certified retail shopping center in the United States in 2006.
  2. Randy Peacock discusses the sustainable features of Abercorn Common.
  3. The redevelopment of Abercorn Common was a learn-as-you-go experience for the company.
  4. A greater detailed look into how the project evolved.
  5. The three specific parts of the development.
  6. The financial implications of being an early entrant into green development.
  7. Lessons learned in the process.


The grocery which the Melaver family ran in the 1940’s evolved into a shopping center and then became the first U.S. LEED certified retail shopping center in 2006. This chapter discusses the journey of the company as it evolved into its ground-breaking initiatives and renovations. The chapter details the sustainable features of the store. The first part of the chapter evaluates the projects it has undergone through the years. The other parts evaluate the main three components of its development and the specific strategies the company employed in relation to its expansion. The said three components consist of the following: its in-line shopping center, the LEED McDonald’s out-parcel, and the boutique Shops 600 out-parcel. The latter part of the chapter details the financial requirements of this expansion and how the company has reaped the financial and the social benefits of going green. The last part of the chapter provides a roadmap for other developers.

Chapter 6: Existing Buildings: The Green-Headed Stepchild of the Sustainability Movement

(by Scott Doksansky)


  1. Illustration of the Crestwood, a 94,000-square-foot Melaver-owned and -managed office building in suburban Atlanta, as Georgia’s first office building to receive LEED certification.
  2. The work done by Crestwood to achieve LEED for Existing Buildings certification, including its costs and rewards.
  3. The Crestwood office building.
  4. The financial implications of this renovation.
  5. Asset manager and LEED renovation.


This chapter depicts The Crestwood, a Melaver owned and managed office building in Atlanta’s suburb that has an occupancy rate of over 90 percent. This 94,000-square-foot building is the first office building in Georgia to receive LEED certification. This certification is for an existing building (LEED-EB). It is also one of the few multi-tenant office buildings in the United States to be renovated according to LEED specifications.

Hence, the chapter consists of the works done to the Crestwood in order to achieve its certification. It also details the entailed costs and benefits of this renovation. The chapter also details how the Melaver management carefully renovated its building according to LEED standards.

The chapter takes the readers to a virtual tool towards the building’s facility while stressing its unique facilities and features. There are a huge costs entailed in this project but the current issues of building maintenance and operations, plans for extra improvements did not hider Melaver, Inc. The story moves on to the more general issue of how The Crestwood’s asset manager evaluated the existing buildings. A checklist for assessing an existing building for its green potential was also detailed.

Chapter 7: Dollars and (Common) Sense: Realizing the Value of Green for Key Users

(by Colin Coyne)


  1. Case Illustrated: a complex redevelopment project in Birmingham, Alabama
  2. The need to address the value of green to key constituencies.
  3. Prospective tenants for the office part of the Birmingham Federal Reserve & Tower.
  4. Providers of financial capital—both debt and equity—and how a green building enhances value for its stakeholders.
  5. Community and how sustainable development will benefit the locality financially and environmentally.
  6. Integrating and addressing the various needs of the stakeholders.
  7. Sustainable development must be inspired by a sense of stewardship for future generations.


This chapter emphasizes the need to address the green value towards various stakeholders. The COO of Melaver, Inc. singles out a sophisticated redevelopment project in Birmingham, Alabama to show his point. Stakeholders include: the tenants who use up the green spaces, the capital agencies which support the project, and the community which is the locality of the project.

The chapter illustrates the tenants of the Birmingham Federal Reserve & Tower in order to depict how office rentals can be a green and a good investment and not just an ordinary expense. The chapter also focuses on the debt and equity financiers and how they can profit from a green building. The third part of the chapter addresses the community and how sustainable development provides a social, financial and environmental investments for them.

All these benefits to stakeholders are interpreted to enhance the value of green development. The chapter also presents the crucial tools that allow the green developer to work in an integrated way – from the green philosophy to stakeholders’ benefits, and public wellness, among others. It then concludes that sustainable development must be inspired by a true sense of environmental stewardship.

Chapter 8: Sustainable Brokerage: Diffusing Green Practices to Gain Broad Market Acceptance

(by Rhett Mouchet and Clara Fishel)


  1. Melaver Mouchet, the brokerage division of Melaver, Inc., as an illustration of the issue sustainable brokerage.
  2. Brokers can play a central role in increasing the diffusion of green practices.
  3. Personal story of Mouchet and its evolution.
  4. Comparison of the “traditional brokerage” with “sustainable brokerage.”
  5. The business case for sustainable brokerage.
  6. Actual business case for sustainable brokerage.


This chapter discusses the business case for sustainable brokerage. This brokerage supports real estate choices that are wholesome – business-wise, community-wise and also god for the environment. It is highly influenced by the broker’s ample involvement in external planning and environmental stewardship. The topic is further illustrated through the example of Melaver Mouchet, the brokerage division of Melaver, Inc.

It encourages green brokers to head on for green projects as they are considered to be good messengers of the green practices. Their positive relationships with their real estate clients give them a special position to teach their clients, promote green structures and enhance the general enlightenment on achieving a triple bottom line.

The chapter starts with the evolution of brokerage and how the emerging “sustainable brokerage” can pitch in against the “traditional brokerage.” The chapter then further explains how a business can be reframed through the notion of sustainable brokerage. This enables brokers to play an important role in shaping the consciousness of their clients to go green. It has a tremendous impact on the whole community and the environment because the clients’ choices have a direct effect on the environment. The actual business case for sustainable brokerage is then exemplified further with the emphasis on the extra resources it requires and the benefits it accrue in terms of sustainability.

Chapter 9: The Fine Print: Legal Issues in Green Building Projects

(by Robert E. Stanley, Esq. and Justin Shoemake, Esq.)


  1. The myriad legal issue in the development and construction of green buildings.
  2. The first stage of development and construction phase of green buildings.
  3. The issue of permits and incentives for green developers.
  4. The budgetary implications of a green development.
  5. The challenges and potential legal exposure posed by those who broker and market a green development.
  6. Standard and common elements of a real estate lease.
  7. The legal aspects of buying and selling a green property.
  8. The advantages and the disadvantages of facing various green issues for a developer/constructor/owner.


This chapter states that the legal changes and improvements in the development and construction of green buildings are still in its initial phase. The authors, who happened to be the legal counsel for Melaver, Inc., a green development company, detail the various legal issues surrounding the real estate industry in their road to greenness.

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The first section stresses the legal aspects of verification, risk management, and the channels for remedies in the initial development and construction phase of green buildings. The second part looks at the issue of permits and incentives from a green context. It shows how the various local, state, and federal policies and laws affect the legal exposure of green developers in the rapidly changing environment. The third part of the chapter delves into the budgetary consideration in green developments. It also evaluates the positions of the real estate brokers and marketers of green developments. Lastly, the chapter discusses the standards fare in real estate and how it radically changes due to the impact of green marketing. The rewards of undergoing all the legal implications are finally detailed in the latter part of the chapter.

Chapter 10: Marketing Sustainable Development: A Million Shades of Green

(by Dan Monroe and Lisa Lilienthal)


  1. A perspective on real estate development.
  2. Business pioneering and its advantages.
  3. The emerging challenges of green marketing.
  4. Cayenne Creative, a marketing firm and Lisa Lilienthal, an independent contractor, supervise Melaver’s public relations.
  5. Early developments of Melaver, Inc. and its communications strategy requirement for branding.
  6. Broader marketing and public relations needs of a green development company.
  7. The actual costs of a multi-year marketing strategy.
  8. Projections regarding the future challenges of green marketing.


This chapter sets off with a perspective on real estate development. Melaver, Inc. is illustrated as a pioneering company which reaped its rewards after applying its green strategies. The balancing act is that Melaver outwit the challenge of being green and smart. With the help of its external marketing agency and its public relations, it has communicated its green initiatives to its advantage. These agencies helped Melaver highlight the emerging challenges of green marketing. It sets the stage to how the company was able to establish itself as a profitable green company amidst the failures of brands and an increasing need for values in the corporate world.

The middle of the chapter details Melaver’s early stages and how it required a communications strategy to improve its internal brand image. The chapter moves with the greater needs for a larger marketing and public relations consultants. Such a green development company as Melaver Inc. required these business gurus to enhance their green projects expertise. The end of the chapter assesses the actual costs of their marketing investments as part of their overall corporate strategy in greening. Lastly, the author projected some future challenges and developments which will happen with green marketing.

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