Benefits of Building Green

wgbc-graphic.jpgGreen Buildings Do Not Need to Cost More Than Non-Green Buildings
Sustainable building practices are becoming more mainstream, but there is still the assumption that using green methods costs more than traditional methods. But this is not the case if green methods are incorporated from the start. Various studies completed between 2000 to 2012 (p. 22) show that actual cost premiums range from zero to 12.5 percent, with the higher premiums directly correlating with a higher standard of green, like zero carbon performance. A 2007 study found that "an increasing number of project teams were shown to have delivered LEED-certified buildings within a budget comparable to that of non-LEED-certified buildings. One of the biggest challenges to the cost-effective delivery of green buildings is the development of an understanding that green design is not a bolt-on to conventional buildings, but is instead an integrated discipline for design that requires a different way of thinking." If you recall, this corresponds with what Cook said: a developer's decision to build green doesn't necessarily hinge on whether or not it's going to cost more. It's more about a person's attitude.

figure6a-rental-premiums.jpg[Reported cost premiums associated with LEED certification in the United States showing the gradual reduction of premiums over time, averaged values from various source]

It's Getting Cheaper to Build Green
The chart above shows the gradual decrease in the cost of LEED buildings from 2001 to 2011. This should come as no surprise?practice makes perfect.curbedU_3_2012.jpg So as the industry is becoming more familiar with green buildings, the system for delivering them has improved and supply chains are more capable of efficiently providing sustainable materials. All of these factors help to bring down costs. The report also points out that more construction and design professionals know how to create green buildings, and the tools to learn about sustainable building are more readily available.

[Reported rental rate increases of certified green buildings as compared to conventional code-compliant unrated office buildings, from various sources]

Green Buildings Make More Money
Studies show that certified green buildings, both commercial and residential, can command up to 30 percent higher prices than their traditional counterparts (p.30). And the higher the certification of green, the higher the price (which means that the LEED Platinum One Bryant Park is probably one of the more expensive office buildings in Manhattan). The above graphic shows different types of green buildings and the rental rates they fetched over the last several years (BREEAM is the standard used in U.K.). Occupancy rates have also been found to be up to 23 percent higher for LEED buildings.

figure-3-cost-graph.jpg cost-savings-per-square-foot.jpg

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Capstone Builds Waterfront Custom Home in RBYCC  — Cape Gazette
Capstone is also different than its approach to “green” building and energy savings. Capstone Homes factors in the cost of energy into the designs of its new home. Capstone focuses less on certifications and promises. Capstone homes focuses on cost.

Q&A

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What are the benefits of energy conservation in green buildings?

How energy conservation contribute towards green buildings?

lower running cost, lower resource consumption, lower polution, better quality of life - better temperature & humidity control, lower volatile components - less cacinogens from paint, particle board & plastics, longer life/lower repair costs.
Should also be more socially inclusive, more integated into community support systems, schools, transport etc