Can sustainable buildings cost the same as conventional buildings

  • Jacomit A
  • Da Silva V
  • Granja A
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There is a broad consensus both with regard to the general attributes that constitute greenness and the subjectivity of the concept of ideal building. It is not detectable when it comes to weighting of green attributes that would allow for an universally accepted way to compare diverse green attributes. There is also a widespread perception that sustainable buildings cost more to be built. However, if the green attributes are integrated into design at early stages and proactively value-managed, the authors submit in this paper that it is possible to achieve minimum or null green premium. Based on data from available cost reports, this study aims to identify the determining factors to allow a green project not to exceed its reference budget (without sustainable features). LEEDTM is adopted herein as a common basis for comparison, because all cost reports analyzed refer to data collected in the American context and explicitly refer to this rating system. The most usual analysis of economic feasibility for implementation of a given LEED point or a certain LEED certification level is based on an isolated, point-by-point basis. That means that costs are always added to a reference budget. Though it is indeed the most practical approach, to consider cost efforts in isolation is presumed to be flawed. Target costing, a value engineering-based strategic approach for development of new products, is therefore envisioned as a potential alternative to ensure that sustainable buildings cost at least the same as conventional buildings.

Author-supplied keywords

  • cost management
  • green buildings
  • sustainable buildings
  • target costing

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  • A. Jacomit

  • V. Da Silva

  • A. Granja

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