Building Green Doesn't Have to Cost More

A recent article at Metropolis discusses a new report compiled by Lisa Fay Matthiessen and Peter Morris, of the cost-management firm Davis Langdon, which concludes that building green buildings doesn't necessarily cost more. That's huge!In "Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budgeting Methodology," the duo dissect the U.S Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines for New Construction.

The inspiration for the study was the fact that an increasing number of clients were interested in sustainable design—excellent news to begin with.

When the team looked at different projects going through the LEED certification process, which labels building that have been built to environmentally-correct standards, costs of building varied quite a bit. But ultimately, when sustainable design goals are built into the planning and programming process as early as possible, they don't add cost to the project, the report concludes.

"The most successful projects," said Matthiessen, "have a very integrated process...Clients and design teams tend to think that LEED is something that you add to the building, and therefore the cost is something you add to the budget," she added. Instead, when LEED standards are regarded as an integral part of the building process, building green is a cost-effective way of designing—and not just in the long run. ::Metropolis