the real cost of green building?

A recent report identified high levels of awareness of the issue of sustainable building but low levels of specific knowledge and involvement. It identified three key barriers to addressing energy efficiency in buildings

Lack of information about building energy use and costs
Lack of leadership from professionals and business people in the industry
Lack of know-how and experience as too few professionals have been involved in sustainable building work.

Phil Clarke reported in Building earlier this week:

Study finds professionals misjudging sustainable budgets and underestimating carbon footprint of buildings

Construction and property professionals are overestimating green construction costs by 300%, a new survey has found.


Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Business Realities and Opportunities (PDF; 1.9 MB)
Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
From their press release:

Survey finds green costs overestimated by 300% and a need to foster zero net energy construction. Key players in real estate and construction misjudge the costs and benefits of “green” buildings, creating a major barrier to more energy efficiency in the building sector, a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reports.

Respondents to a 1400 person global survey estimated the additional cost of building green at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about 5 percent. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of world total, while the actual number of 40 percent is double this.


Of interest within the report, after a quick scan are:

The EEB vision is a world in which buildings consume zero net energy

Use less, make more, share There are three key elements to achieving zero net energy:
• Use less energy
• Make more energy (locally)
• Share surplus energy (through an intelligent grid)

An Integrated Design Process (IDP) involving all participants in the early design phase of the project.

Behavioral, organizational and financial approaches to overcome barriers:

Encourage interdependence by adopting holistic, integrated approaches among the stakeholders that assure a shared responsibility and accountability toward improved energy performance in buildings and their communitiesMake energy more valued by those involved in the development, operation and use of buildings

Transform behavior by educating and motivating the professionals involved in building transactions to alter their course toward improved energy efficiency in buildings.

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