Green Building or Green Money?

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Although the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating Systems have been around since 1998, over ten years, there are less than 3,000 LEED®  certified buildings in the United States.  Now, there are green buildings that aren’t certified, but the numbers are small compared to how many physical businesses there are in this country.Several neutral companies have taken surveys to find out why, and the main reason that comes up is money.  As business owners and managers, how much it costs to implement better environmental practices is a real concern.  We’ve touched on this several times since this blog’s inception.One of these neutral companies is Davis Langdon, which specializes in market research.  Davis Langdon provides in depth research on the cost of implementation and upkeep of these green buildings, and has done so at least twice in the past six years.  In 2004, their research showed that construction costs for a green building vs. a traditional building were negligent; very few green building construction projects cost more than a traditional construction project.  It also showed that maintenance and upkeep – green purchasing policies, using green cleaning products and equipment, replacing traditional lighting with energy efficient lighting – actually cost the same or less than they would in a traditional building.Okay, you might say, “But that was five years ago.  Things cost more now”, and you’d be right.  However, more recent research shows that those numbers haven’t changed.  In general, it still doesn’t cost that much more to implement greener practices.  If you’re looking at big cost numbers, those high costs are most likely for advanced or innovative features.Before you say, “Implementing green building practices would cost too much”, take a chance and do some research on what it would cost you.  If you’d be interested in green building if it didn’t cost so much, you may no longer have a reason to say “no” to green.

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