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Green Buildings and the Metrics



Why Green Buildings are more profitable.  With metrics.


Green buildings must perform, and they must do so across a host of metrics, including, and especially, financial ones.


Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. One of the biggest challenges to the cost-effective delivery of green buildings is the development of an understanding that green design is not a bolt-on to conventional buildings, but is instead an integrated discipline for design that requires a different way of thinking.  Here are seven measurable reasons to embrace Green:


1. World Green Building Council studies show that improved ventilation will boost productivity of workers by 11% while better lighting will spark a whopping 23% jump in efficiencies.


2. Green buildings attract more tenants and command higher rents and sale prices.  Source: Irish Green Building Council reportLEED Platinum-certified, One Bryant Park in New York City commands one of the highest rents in the city.


3. Millennials expect their employers to have environmental and social values that are similar to their own.  In the War for Talent, organisations can attract the best people by aligning themselves with these values – a Green Building conveys this message loud and clear


4. A 2% upfront investment on top of the construction costs will yield over ten times in savings in operating and maintenance costs on a 20-year lifecycle through reduced energy and water consumption.


5. Ernst and Young now save one million dollars every year.  In one of New York City’s largest LED lightings retrofit (which took one night shift to complete) the Times Square HQ uses more efficient custom fixtures, occupancy sensors, and controls to manage lighting, cutting costs by 50%.


6. Sustainability risk factors can significantly affect the rental income and the future value of real estate assets, in turn affecting their return on investment. Regulatory risks have become increasingly apparent in countries and cities around the world, including mandatory disclosure, building codes and laws banning inefficient buildings.


7. Net Present Value analysis shows that personnel working in LEED certified buildings enjoy 10-25% better mental and memory function, 6-12% faster in call processing, and experienced 8.5% shorter hospital stays.


Green buildings do not necessarily have to cost more, and that the challenge of delivering green buildings within the budget of a conventional code-compliant building is certainly achievable.  In fact, some studies present case studies that cost less than certified buildings.

Actual reported upfront cost premiums for Green buildings range between 0% – 12.5% range where the highest vale is BREEAM Excellent, LEED Platinum, Green Mark Platinum and Zero Carbon. However the cost typically ranges from 0% – 4%, based on studies published within the last ten years.


Green Building Councils globally and other groups, are working to give employers the tools to capitalize on these enviable productivity gains.

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