Properly designed Green architecture is increasingly understood to be a sound investment in commercial architecture. Too often the initial cost to simply buy, or construct, a building is considered as being the main cost. Often it is the sole focus of construction decision making. However when the costs to own, operate, and manage a building are also considered, the advantages of Green design become clear.
Buildings influence people's lives: Green designed buildings improve employee productivity, reduce energy use, and improve public image. Poorly designed buildings are unlikely to last long, or to be very desirable on the marketplace when leased or sold.
Too often it is assumed that Green design simply adds cost. One can design an energy inefficient yet expensive building just as one can design a cost effective and energy efficient building. Being economical does not mean that a building is guzzling energy; and being expensive does not mean that a building meets green standards.
What is important is that energy efficiency decisions be made wisely, with respect to long term value. These can range from building orientation decisions, which need not add cost yet can be most important in terms of long term energy use. Appropriate window placement, orientation, and sizing, can also create energy efficiencies while actually reducing cost.
The true cost benefits over the life of a sustainably designed Green building are often many times greater than the initial construction cost adds. These result from:
- Lower energy costs to operate, lower water bills
- Often lower maintenance costs
- Lower future equipment replacement costs (if, for example, a smaller air conditioning system is installed due to improvements in building envelope efficiency, the system can have lower initial as well as lower replacement cost)
- Space savings when less space devoted to heating / cooling systems
- Ongoing savings for owner due to lower heating and cooling bills (which can pay for initial Green design costs many times over)
- Lower employee turnover due to improved environmental conditions
- Reduced heat island effect (which has community benefits but also, and for the same reasons, should lower cooling bills for the specific building)
Cordogan, Clark & Associates is committed to designing Green commercial architecture that makes good economic sense for its owners. When intelligent Green design decisions are made, the longer term benefits are clear. The long term economic benefits due to energy savings of owning a better designed Green building can far outweigh its initial costs. There is also greater satisfaction in owning, and working in, a better designed Green building.