Find the Green for Green Design

Posted on November 26, 2010

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In a recent post I explored how a design team can provide added value for an owner by assisting in financing a project. This has been a key for owners of historic structures who want to adaptively reuse or restore their facilities; they often tap resources to help realize a project that might otherwise cost a premium or likely not happen.

Now the idea of looking for financial help has migrated to sustainable design. Allyson Wendt’s piece, “Digging for Dollars”  in Green Source is a great place to start.

You could have guessed the main sources of assistance are government:  federal tax deductions and credits, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and state incentives. In addition, many local jurisdictions offer non-financial benefits like expedited permitting and leniency in zoning or floor area ratios. Some helpful websites for researching funding include: 

  • eere.energy.gov/financing
  • recovery.gov
  • dsireusa.org
  • energytaxincentives.org.

Finally, the author notes additional incentives that may sweeten your green project deal.  Some of the options:

  • industry support incentives
  • leasing and loan programs
  • property-assessed clean energy
  • performance-based incentives
  • personal, property, and sales tax incentives
  • rebate programs
  • utility rate discounts

Wendt points out there are plenty of sources for assistance and the list keeps growing. It is an investment that is here to stay and many organizations are willing to back it. Ask around, turn over rocks, and good luck.

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