You may have heard the term “green building” used on several occasions. It refers to the overall use of green building practices and materials and it can bring several benefits.
If you are training for a career in real estate or construction, or simply have an interest, you may be developing an awareness of green construction and be wondering if it’s more expensive than traditional construction.
The truth is that, depending on the scale of the project, green building does not have to be more expensive. It’s also worth noting that this type of building can bring about several benefits.
Different levels of green building
Let’s start by saying that not every green building project has to be large scale. Of course, there are many projects of that type and some of them can be expensive. For instance, installing an array of solar panels necessitates a large initial investment.
However, there are green building projects which are smaller but can still make a difference. For instance, a current building can be repurposed or recycled materials can be used. In these cases, the costs involved should not be any higher than for traditional construction. In fact, reusing materials can actually help to reduce costs.
It’s also important to note that although creating a building which uses sustainable energy can involve significant initial outlay, money can actually be saved in the long term. This is because green buildings are more cost effective to heat and cool.
Why green building is the way to go
It’s clear to see that not all green building projects are more expensive than traditional construction. For those that are, it’s important to remember that ongoing costs once the building is complete are likely to be lower than normal and that building costs can also be offset against the benefits to the environment.
It’s these environmental and ongoing cost savings that help to make green building the way to go. Of course, buildings that are certified as being green are also likely to attract more sales potential.
LEED certification is probably the most well-known in areas such as North America. However, Green Star certification is used in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Green Star system was first created in 2003 by the Green Building Council of Australia and is utilised throughout Australia to confirm the green rating of various construction projects.
Green building does not necessarily have to be more expensive than traditional construction. In the case of more extensive green projects, such as fitting an array of solar panels, there is likely to be a significant increase in costs but decreased energy costs and benefits to the environment lead to an impressive return on investment over time.
Less comprehensive green building projects, such as the reuse of existing buildings or materials, should not involve additional costs and can still provide significant environmental benefits. This is why any level of green building should represent the future for construction.