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GreenWorks Building - Costs of Green Building

Green Homes are actually few and far between but there are definitely varying shades of green homes. The deepest shade of green would be a home that is rated by a third party such as LEED for Homes or Energy Star HERS rated homes. Lighter shades of green would be home that may be energy-efficient or have introduced solar panels or have updated their homes using sustainable and non-toxic materials. But any step in the sustainable direction is the right direction towards a green home!

Global Green USA— Top 20 No or Low Cost Green Building Strategies


1. Orient building to maximize natural daylighting

2. Place windows to provide good natural ventilation

3. Select a light colored roof

4. Provide overhangs on south facing windows

5. Install whole house fans

6. Eliminate air conditioning

7. Provide combined-hydronic heating

8. Install energy efficient lighting

9. Install high R-value insulation’

10. Select Energy Star appliances


11. Design water efficient landscapes

12. Install water efficient toilets and fixtures

13. Use permeable paving materials


14. Use 30-40 % flyash in concrete

15. Use engineered wood for headers, joists, and sheathing

16. Use recycled content insulation, drywall, and carpet

Indoor Air Quality

17. Use low or No VOC paint

18. Use formaldehyde free or fully sealed materials for cabinets and counters

19. Vent range hood to outside

20. Install CO detectors

Research and publications on economic analysis on green building costs:

The Cost of Green Revisited

Davis Langdon; 2007
The Cost of Green Revisited, an extension of the 2004 Costing Green report, shows that many projects are achieving LEED within their budgets and in the same cost range as non-LEED projects.

Costing Green (PDF)
Davis Langdon; 2004
Based on an in-depth study of the cost of sustainable buildings, this report concludes that there is no significant difference in the construction costs for LEED versus non-LEED buildings.

The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings (PDF)
This October 2003 report to California's Sustainable Building Task Force includes LEED building analysis.

Green City Buildings: Applying the LEED Rating System
Portland Energy Office; 2000
A cost/benefit analysis of applying LEED design criteria to city buildings.

Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits (PDF)
This report, prepared by Capital E, compares the financial costs and benefits of green schools and conventional schools.

GSA LEED Cost Study (PDF)
The U.S. General Services Administration commissioned this report to estimate soft and hard costs for developing green federal facilities.

Health and Productivity Gains from Better Indoor Environments and their Relationship with Buil
ding Energy Efficiency (PDF)
Fisk; 2000

Quantifying the Business Benefits of Sustainable Buildings: Summary of Existing Research Findings, Draft for Discussion (PDF)
Alan Yates, Centre for Sustainable Construction, Building Research Establishment; 2001

The Economics of Green: Does Green Payoff? (PDF) (PPT)
By the University of San Diego and CoStar Group
Dr. Norm Miller, Jay Spivey (CoStar Research Director and Andy Florance, CEO, CoStar)

A systematic study that addresses questions on the benefits of investments in energy savings and environmental design.  The study results demonstrate that green buildings have higher occupancy rates and lower operating expenses than non-green buildings; green buildings observed higher rental rates by almost $2 dollar per square foot per year net in the second quarter of 2007 and $2.65 higher in the third quarter of 2007;  and green buildings command sales prices of 30 percent more on average.

Source: USGBC. More green building cost research studies and publications information here.

GreenWorks Building, a subdivision of Greentopia Corporation, is a full-service general contracting firm. It is here to assist and provide you with information on LEED®  certification process on new and existing buildings and homes, green building and green remodeling projects. Request for a FREE Consultation for your Green Remodeling and Building Project.

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