Building green and performing green retrofits for commercial uses need not cost more than traditional construction and renovation methods as long as cost strategies, program management and environmental strategies are built into the project plan from the start, according to a report released by M&G Investments’ real estate division.
Ultimately, the delivery of cost-effective sustainably-built commercial property is about taking a “long-term view and translating that into short-term actions,” according to Creating a Better World, The Case For Green Buildings.
Energy savings from green buildings “typically exceed” any extra construction costs within a reasonable payback period, according to the report, which will be released to coincide with World Green Building Week, Sept. 16-20.
And the increase in availability of the skills, tools and the maturation of the green building supply chain are further reducing up-front costs, the report says.
However, high-performance buildings need to backed up by strong project management and leadership and “robust” commissioning if they are to achieve value for money, the report says.
But finding strong project management is not the only challenge facing a successful green build, according to M&G. Some business people are still put off from a green building project by the perceived time scale of such projects, the report suggests.
In August, researchers at Colorado State University were awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop measurement and assessment tools that architects and others can use to measure greenhouse gases produced by construction activity in real time.
The green building assessment tools will be integrated with existing architectural design software and building material databases to provide “on-the-fly” carbon footprint metrics.