Cost of Building a Sustainable Zero-Energy Home in the U.S. In the U.S., building a sustainable home costs only 1 to 8% more than building according to the code. The initial cost of adding green features to buildings is generally offset by savings in operating and maintenance costs, as they are designed to operate more efficiently. Numerous studies carried out in this field indicate that green buildings consume between 25 and 35% less energy than non-green buildings.
Its operating and maintenance cost is 14% lower than that of its traditional counterparts. In addition, reducing energy consumption can save 20% of the initial cost of building green buildings every year. These long-term savings in energy costs (operating and maintenance costs) offset the initial cost of installing green design elements, which can lead to a shorter payback period (as little as 3 to 5 years) to return the initial expense of such investment in green buildings (originally believed to reach 15 to 20 years). The data also shows that, compared to conventional buildings, green buildings have a 14% lower impact on the environment and the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from green buildings is between 18 and 85% lower than that of their non-green counterparts.
However, green construction offers many more benefits in addition to operating cost savings. Green buildings are often seen as more comfortable with a healthier indoor environment and better air quality. The data shows that almost 99% of the occupants of green buildings are satisfied with the quality of their indoor environment, compared to only 50% of the occupants of conventional buildings. These high rates of occupant satisfaction tend to lead to better productivity (with 33% higher scores on cognitive tests compared to occupants of non-green buildings).
Numerous studies also indicate that green buildings are becoming increasingly popular, with a 6% higher occupancy level and 2% more rent, which can significantly increase the market value of green properties. In general, green buildings seem like an excellent alternative to conventional buildings with more efficient energy performance, lower utility bills, lower operating and maintenance costs, a healthier indoor environment, better air quality, higher productivity and higher market value. So is green building worth the initial cost? Do future savings exceed the initial cost? Is green building affordable? The answers are “YES”, “YES” and “YES”. Green buildings can be both sustainable and affordable.
Email (will not be published) (required) Subscribe to the latest news and updates from the sustainabilists' weekly. Even if this isn't always the case, you'll spend more money (and time) building an eco-friendly building than a conventional one. However, the misconception that green buildings are unaffordable prevents developers and homeowners from investing in these types of homes. Gregory Kats, co-founder of New Resource Bank in San Francisco, says that the financial firm recently offered lower interest rates for green buildings compared to the rates offered for conventional buildings, allowing owners and developers to save money over the life of the loan and improve their financial returns.
According to one of the researchers, this challenge is due to the current gap in knowledge of green building design. While money is clearly important when making design and construction decisions at first sight, some experts argue that the effects that a green building has on its occupants are as important as the final result. The construction of green buildings is one of the most promising ways to curb the depletion of natural resources. This publication will look at both the initial cost and the anticipated savings of green building in an effort to find answers to these questions.
Green buildings require specially designed accessories and finishes to promote sustainability, including lighting and flooring materials. Despite their potential benefits, many are shying away from the adoption of green buildings due to misinformation. However, other studies with conflicting results indicate that engineers and the public may be overestimating the costs of building green structures. Since green buildings use sustainable materials, their construction does not affect local infrastructure.
The incorporation of sustainable materials in the construction of green buildings makes these developments green and easy to maintain. However, developers and homeowners looking for a green building that costs no more than conventional buildings should develop an accurate analysis of costs, schedule and environment. Continuing education through seminars, workshops or conferences will surely facilitate the dissemination of knowledge about the design of green buildings. While this may seem like an excessive cost, the initial expense associated with green construction involves long-term benefits and future savings in operating and maintenance costs.