Vol. 2, Issue 4 |   12.2009

With the emergence of sustainability as part of the mainstream zeitgeist, community leaders face a spectrum of new challenges in planning and managing a community’s future vision and direction.

However, this shift toward sustainable development also brings exciting new opportunities for communities to show leadership, redefine themselves and establish a new “identity” – in the minds of local citizens and the global community at large.

By understanding and applying innovative sustainability approaches in economic development projects and setting strong green building standards, communities can re-create the local culture to attract new leading-edge industries and businesses, as well as larger numbers of progressive thinking individuals.

Ultimately, the greatest measure of success for any economic development effort is the value it delivers in helping the community achieve its ultimate potential. With creativity, insight and a commitment to “green building values”, communities – large and small – have a wealth of new avenues for achieving even greater potential.

— TAG International, LLP

Maximizing Your Green Building Potential®
A Practical Guide to Sustainable Development

Step 3: Feasibility and Due Diligence

Rule of Thumb: Understand the constraints.

Successful project execution requires the comprehensive upfront analysis of critical technical and financial factors.

Taking into account your organization’s immediate needs and long-term objectives, your feasibility and due diligence analysis should incorporate the thorough evaluation of the project’s technical and financial details, including potential benefits and costs associated with various sustainable development approaches.

Achieving your sustainability goals, smoothly and efficiently, requires the knowledge and insight of a trusted advisor who can provide proven expertise – as well as a comprehensive understanding of the possible avenues and considerations for sustainable building. This level of expertise is important for effective budgeting and scheduling, navigating the related legalities and requirements, and assessing the potential obstacles that could impede the successful application of sustainability principles.

The over arching goal of feasibility and due diligence is to provide a comprehensive assessment of all the critical technical, financial and environmental factors to ensure that your facility will successfully meet your organization’s goals while balancing the needs of the local community and global concerns.

Industry Focus: Community Development

In defining your community’s future vision, it is important to set clear sustainability goals that can enhance quality of life, protect the local and global environment, and support the community’s future economic success. Some key considerations include:

What role do “green values” play in your community’s vision? What sustainability approaches and standards are most feasible? What impact will sustainability standards have on local businesses, as well as the lifestyles of citizens? What marketing value will incorporating sustainability have for attracting new industries, businesses or individuals to your community?

For many communities, the commitment to sustainability is reflected in the redevelopment of brownfields and reuse of existing structures for economic development. By choosing to revitalize blighted areas and neglected buildings, local leaders can maintain the history and integrity of the community, while exhibiting green leadership.

Whether the project entails building a new structure or revitalizing an existing one – the creation of a public facility presents an invaluable opportunity for local leaders to exemplify the community’s vision, demonstrate a real commitment to sustainability, and set the standard for area businesses and citizens to follow.

Project Spotlight

Edinburg Boys & Girls Club, Rio Grande Valley

TAG International was selected to design the Edinburg Boys & Girls Club, a state-of-the-art facility that provides life enhancing programs and character development experiences for young people in Edinburg and surrounding communities.

Through a fund raising effort, the city received a significant gift – a greenfield site of 20 acres, which allowed the project to be expanded to include ball fields and courts, an amphitheater, hiking paths and other outdoor activities, which TAG integrated in an overall site master plan.

Spurred on by TAG’s encouragement, the Board decided to further the design process to pursue LEED certification. Beyond creating an inviting youth-friendly facility, TAG incorporated innovative sustainable building practices, as well as green educational features such as informational signage and other elements spotlighting green concepts throughout the facility and surrounding grounds.

>> See Edinburg Boys & Girls Club case study.

Don't miss your Newsletter!

Please help us make sure that you continue to receive the Building Potential Newsletter by confirming your subscription with us. Confirming your subscription ensures that future newsletters will be successfully delivered to your inbox and not misplaced into your junk mail or spam folder. To confirm, simply click the “confirm” link in the white bar below. You are still free to unsubscribe from our newsletter distribution at any time in the future. Thank you.