Green buildings offer 10X payback on initial extra costs

Washington Post writer Neil Pearce [summarizes a recent study]( by the Califorina State & Consumer Services Agency:

>The California State and Consumer Services Agency, in a study of 33 green buildings, concluded that their construction costs are slightly more expensive — $3 to $5 a square foot, or 2 percent — than conventional structures.

>But a big difference emerged when the agency factored in reduced costs for energy, water and waste-disposal, plus enhanced employee health and productivity. The estimate: $50 to $75 per square foot savings over the average 20-year life of a building — more than 10 times the 2 percent cost premium for green buildings.

>It seems obvious: the reason only a tiny percentage of new American buildings and retrofits aren’t green isn’t cost. It’s lack of ingenuity or knowledge of new construction techniques — architects and builders wed to the “same-old,” lenders leery of anything unconventional.

>The fault also lies with national leaders unwilling to tell us in clear terms that a nation secure economically and environmentally and against foreign threats, means energy savings across the board — efficient and sustainable buildings included. It’s a message our current president apparently doesn’t comprehend, at least won’t articulate.

One thought on “Green buildings offer 10X payback on initial extra costs”

  1. Great to see posts like this appearing more often on the web and reinforcing the critical missed opportunity.

    Buildings are a node of resource consumption and pollution production in our western society, and here’s hoping that the messages like this one are heard soon.


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