Is Green Construction More Expensive?
As we mature as a species, most people realize we need to take care
of our world. That being said, most people think doing so is expensive.
So, what does green construction cost?
The cost of green construction is a rather complex subject. It is an
easily misunderstood subject also. One reason for this is the idea of an
integrated approach that considers the economic benefits of any green
project in relationship to the cost. The up front costs of a project may
be higher. Yet, these costs are often balanced against the long term low
operating costs of the building. It is further complicated by the fact
that many of the benefits of the green approach cannot be easily
expressed in dollar and cents. If our personal environment is safer and
cleaner, and our health is better as a result, how do we quantify this?
In one example cost study done in California, $1578 was added to the
cost of a home in order to bring it to a minimal green construction
level. The additional costs went into projects that made the home more
energy efficient. The estimate was that at current energy costs, the
savings would be $185 per year. The initial cost would be amortized over
the length of an 8 percent mortgage, and this would yield an additional
cost of $139 a year. So, the net result would really be a savings of $46
dollars per year. It is how one prefers to look at this example that
they would answer the question of cost. One approach claims the green
construction improvements cost over fifteen hundred dollars. Another
approach claims that the green improvements actually save over forty
dollars per year. It is all a matter of perspective.
Most experts agree that green construction cost ranges from nothing at
all to a nominal cost. It is possible to go to the next level and
increase costs by using exotic items in the building plan. In most
cases, this is not done, and the cost of the green structure does not
differ much from the cost of the traditional building. Most builders are
trying to do the right thing today anyway. Even when they do not
consider what they are doing as green, they still try to do the right
thing. They also have some very strict codes they must follow.
It is hard to compare recent projects. Green construction planners do
not normally do cost estimates on their jobs comparing traditional
costs. Traditional planners do not usually do cost estimates on green
construction costs for their projects. In a recent study of 33
properties in California that did compare costs, the cost of going green
was about 2 percent higher. This amounted to about $3 to $5 per square
Green construction might very well be the wave of the future. Many new
projects take years from the initial planning to the completion of
construction. It is likely that code changes, and customer demands will
change over the next few years. What would be the cost of scrapping a
construction project and starting over again? Green construction costs
little, and sometime even saves. It is the wave of the future though,
and the bigger cost might come from ignoring it.
Zack Verde is with
http://www.GreenBuildingCompanies.com - providing information on going green.
If you are looking for a
Denver GREEN building contractor, please call us today at 303.274.0489 or complete our
online request form.