Guest post from local green construction expert, Joe Vig.

20 Jan 2011

The following is a guest post from one of our friends in the green building industry, Joe Vig, CEO of J.S. Vig Construction Company.  Joe has aggressively pursued green construction technology and sustainable and energy efficient building practices and his Ann Arbor offices are both a testing lab and showplace for these practices.  Joe’s post:

“Green” is a term that evokes much emotion in the political and business community today.  It is often synonymous with carbon emissions and global warming.  The reality is that “Green” should be synonymous with the efficient utilization of resources by individuals, businesses and the government.

The benchmark standard of “Green” is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), developed by the US Green Building Council.  LEED places the world of green into five buckets: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.  It scores new and existing buildings based upon a holistic approach considering the building users and their impact on the environment.

The biggest “Return on Investment” … generally occurs with investments in “energy and atmosphere,” specifically “energy efficiency.”  While renewable energy strategies like wind and solar power make the headlines, they still require significant subsidies from government and utilities to bring the ROI to less than 10 years.  By contrast, energy efficiency strategies generally return the full investment in 2-7 years (without subsidy).   Energy efficiency strategies include efficient lighting, HVAC systems and controls and a well insulated building envelope.

To successfully implement “energy efficiency” strategies, you must also consider “indoor air quality,” which leads to occupant comfort, health and productivity.  Unlike the sick buildings of the 1970’s and 1980’s where buildings sacrificed proper ventilation to save energy, advances in technology and building codes now provide efficient and healthy residential and commercial buildings.

Over 50% of our energy in the United States is consumed by homes and buildings.  And, most of the built environment is 20-30% inefficient by current standards.  Therefore, “energy efficiency” will become a focus in all of our lives due to the national objective of energy conservation/independence and the need for individuals and businesses to save money while improving the environments in which they live and work.

For more information, visit or contact Joe (

Founded in 1965, J.S. Vig Construction Company is a full-service general contractor and construction management company having served many Fortune 500 companies and successfully completing more than 1,500 medical, industrial, municipal, office and commercial projects throughout the United States.

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