When you hear about LEED® green building, sustainable energy or anything else having to do with “green”, it always goes hand in hand with “environmental benefits”. Unfortunately, no matter whether you care about the environment or not, what it really boils down to in most business owners’ heads is “cost”. Environmental benefits are all well and good, but how much is it going to cost me?
It’s okay; it’s an understandable area of concern. What if you spend a whole bunch of money on going green and then lose the company because it cost so much? Then again, you may be looking around at other business owners in Texas, wondering how they managed to avoid squashing their bottom line.
The real bottom line is that going green with LEED® certification for Existing Buildings may not cost as much as you think, and has some excellent cost-cutting benefits to boot.Let’s set aside environmental impacts for a moment and look at the cost of LEED® – EB implementation.
In October 2008, the Leonardo Academy published a white paper on this very topic. The paper covered hard, soft, consultation and soft costs ranging from traditional buildings to the top level of LEED® – EB certification. Developed by surveying twenty-three building owners or managers, the paper shows that the overall cost for LEED® – EB implementation and certification ranges from as little as $0.02 to as much as $5.01 per square foot; the average is around $1.61 per square foot. In addition, all but four of the LEED® – EB prerequisites were found to be “low cost or no cost”.They also compared the operating costs of LEED® – EB buildings with BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association International) buildings of similar type. Overall, the results showed that most of the LEED® – EB buildings had lower operational costs that traditional buildings. The average cost of operation for LEED® buildings averaged at $6.68, and ranged from $4.94 to $15.59.No matter what level of certification you’re going for, you don’t have to just think about the long run.
With the cost of LEED® – EB implementation being low, and the cost of operation being lower after implementation, is it really about the bottom line anymore?