Does building green cost more?
The perception that using green technologies such as high efficiency insulation, low flush water systems and geothermal technology in commercial and residential construction has a higher upfront cost. However a recent report entitled "Delivering Sustainable Buildings: Savings and Payback" from U.K. green building certification body BREEAM challenges that thought and suggests that the opposite is true. The report aims to challenge the perception that delivering strong sustainability credentials represents an additional cost for a building.
The study assessed the capital costs of design and construction strategies of three commercial buildings - an office, a secondary school and a community healthcare centre - and also examined the life cycle costs of operating buildings, focusing on energy and water consumption.
Findings from the report suggest that developers need to think not just about upfront costs but also the full operational and lifecycle costs of buildings when deciding whether to incorporate green features. It also suggests that sustainable measures should be factored into the project from an early stage in order to deliver the highest possible savings. The entire report from BREEAM can be found online here.