The most important question that doing around today’s real estate industry is that whether the green building is really cost effective or not. The construction cost estimators want to know the exact know-how of the green building. The reality is that there’s no single answer to that question. Costs can vary significantly from one project to the next depending on a range of factors. But experts agree that, while materials aren’t free, it doesn’t have to break the budget when compared with conventional buildings on a first-cost basis.
The concept of Green building is emerging thing in world of real estate. It is known as green construction or sustainable building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from site-measuring to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
The construction cost estimators, as with all business decisions, take the “build or not to build” decision depends on a cost-benefit analysis: a particular construction project or installation is executed if it is expected to generate monetary value that exceeds the price. If, on the other hand, perceived costs outweigh benefits, the project is shelved.
The construction cost estimators also maintain the same basic rule applies to construction of green buildings. However, there are important additional considerations that influence the green building costs versus benefits analysis—specifically, the price of going green and the value it will impart.
But there is growing recognition that “green” should not be considered a discreet “add-on” feature—grafted on to an otherwise normal project and evaluated independently as to its relative financial burdens and benefits. Rather, it is becoming ever clearer that sustainable building requires changes of both paradigm and process that, when embraced and applied to the entire building process, can make green building an attractive option without being an expensive one.
Constructing a green building naturally costs more than a less sustainable alternative because it entails the use of premium materials, high-efficiency equipment, and additional layers of process workflow. The mindset that paying extra is an unavoidable element of greening a project is beginning to give way to more holistic designs and a lifecycle view of costs and benefits.
Today, the researchers, designers and owners are finding that a focus on sustainability at the beginning of the process can uncover techniques that will provide environmental and social benefits without necessitating incremental costs. To cite one example: simply orienting a building to optimize windows and passive solar heat gain may allow developers and architects to design for lower energy usage and increased sustainability as well as offer daylight, which can increase productivity for employees without adding any additional construction expenses.
“I tend to think the costs for green buildings are different, not more,” says Gary Christensen, a US based green building developer. His firm developed the 195,000-square-foot Banner Bank Building in Boise, Idaho, for $128 a square foot and earned a LEED Platinum rating. One example of a cost tradeoff in the construction of the building: The cost for a raised floor was offset by a lower price tag for smaller HVAC units.
Whether it costs more to construct a green building depends on what it’s being compared to, feels many construction cost estimators. An environmentally responsible building can be constructed for the same cost as any normal building. It’s a matter of how the money is spent. The construction cost estimation is the main thing here which works. The spending on granite or a sculpture for the lobby, or on improved indoor air quality depends a lot. Both offer ways to differentiate the building, but improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) not only provides a functional benefit and adds market value, but also may be a more effective way of making the building stand out.
Therefore, the construction cost estimators who want a green building but don’t want it to cost more than a conventional building need to have cost, schedule and environmental awareness in their minds. A good design can minimize the size of a building’s mechanical systems, which saves money in the short and long terms. If the cost estimators take the time, they’ll find they can have costs that are the same as conventional buildings and that do a good job being green.
Of course, one benefit to green building is its use as a public relations vehicle. The public has come to expect a certain level of green in the organizations and structures with which they interact. A green building serves as physical and permanent message about the commitment of an organization to environmental stewardship and accountability. Owners and developers seek reassurances not only that green building won’t cost more, but that it will, in addition, produce benefits substantial enough to justify the effort.
But investing in a green building goes beyond good will or an altruistic sense of social responsibility. Green building may help the owner comply with legal responsibilities and fiduciary duties, as well. Concern over climate change is spurring governments to enact laws mandating carbon-cutting measures. Likewise, shareholders are increasingly demanding that companies responsibly manage their environmental and carbon footprints, and address their own climate change risks. Building green may help the owner comply with these mandates. However, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. It is also important to rate a green building.
The cost estimators should look the cost of getting a building LEED certified should be considered a marketing cost and not a construction cost because the certification raises awareness about a building, leading to publicity and tenants who move in because the building is green. Owners and developers who choose not to have green buildings or ignore certification will find that potential tenants aren’t interested in their buildings in a matter of a few years.
As data accumulate and building owners are better able to evaluate green building benefits, more and more projects are likely to follow this path. Under a new paradigm of integrated design, it is possible to render green building costs negligible. Meanwhile, the benefits are becoming increasingly visible and measurable. Both sides of this equation are evolving gradually toward an era of sustainable building construction. Real estate professionals are noticing, and the increase in green building is leading to more sustainable cities and towns all over the world.