It is another irony of our modern times, and definition of green building is that green is seen by some as a luxury, only the wealthy can afford. Hundred years ago, it was the poorest people who were living the greenest lives. Back then, they needed money not to be green, but to afford the house.
While it is often assumed that opting for green construction techniques requires increased financial output from the developer. As compared to traditional construction costs, the majority of green-certified buildings show 4% increase in upfront capital expenditure. The idea of green building is to limit the impact on the environment without compromising human comfort.
Green building aims to achieve more with less, which is what makes this sector so interesting. Perhaps, good green buildings often cost only a few percentage or more to build than conventional designs. Integrated design processes that identify the most efficient, holistic approaches to building green can reduce these initial costs. For example, when buildings are carefully designed to be energy efficient, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can be downsized for significant savings. There are also many green products and materials that cost the same or even less than conventional ones.
While this is true that the cost of going green is relative and cannot be accurately quantified. Developers and building owners always use high performance building materials, efficient lighting and HVAC, wastewater treatment, rain water harvesting, waste management and other green building materials and techniques. They simply believe that it’s common sense to build that way. For such builders, the cost of going green is minimal. Many developers do not automatically incorporate green building strategies.
Today more people consider the cost of green building to be a fair price for a safe, comfortable, durable house that does less damage to the environment than a typical house. The effects of global warming and the attention focused on them, make it easier to see the long-term cost of building homes that rely heavily on fossil fuels.
Here are the following economic benefits from an energy-efficient building:
- Reduced operating costs:- It is possible to reduce building energy consumption by 20-30% within the constraints of most building budgets. This increased energy efficiency can reduce energy costs over the life of a building.
- Reduced construction waste:- Custom engineered steel-framed buildings are designed and manufactured to reduce overall construction waste to retain design flexibility even in facilities that undergo frequent remodelling.
- Enhanced employee productivity:- Green buildings have shown significant improvements in productivity, because workers were breathing better quality air, had a connection to the outdoors and worked in spaces with natural daylight.
- Streamlined regulatory approvals:- Sustainable site design strategies often can build public trust and streamline regulatory approvals.
It’s been proven again and again that green buildings are a much better alternative, both for people and the environment, than conventional buildings. But the fact is, conventional buildings are still being constructed at a higher rate than green buildings. While people are open to the idea of building green, there is a belief that the costs of using green technology is exceedingly higher than they are and that the buildings won’t be able to make up for the cost through savings.
The technologies that are used in green building lead them to be more energy efficient. Although these technologies might have greater upfront costs, they will save money in the long run. Green buildings make up for their slightly higher premiums through higher energy efficiency and reduced energy intake. A study shows that LEED certified buildings found to be 25-30% more energy efficient than conventional buildings.
Many homeowners and business owners are now looking towards more sustainable real estate in order to fit in with the times. More customers are demanding sustainable practices, and businesses are definitely listening. With the rise of sustainability comes the task of convincing customers that your business had always been sustainable, which is easily remedied by running your business within a green building. Not only is the actual building is an advertisement in itself, but green buildings will also cost the company or homeowner less in the long run.
This guest post has been written by Gunjan Johar, Real Estate Blogger.