GlobalTech Safety and Environmental Consultancy
HOW MUCH DOES GREEN REALLY COST: From the substantial weight of evidence in the marketplace that reasonable levels of sustainable design can be incorporated into most building types at little or no additional cost. Since sustainable materials and systems are becoming more affordable, sustainable design elements are becoming widely accepted into the mainstream of project design, and building owners and tenants are beginning to demand and value those features. HOW TO DO? “What is the cost of green for me/you?” This can be answered only by good cost planning within the context of clear values and a committed project team. Studies do demonstrate that sustainable design is within the reach for most projects and that buildings that are better for the environment and for the occupants can be delivered in a cost-effective way. Sustainability goals, strategies, and budgets can readily be established and integrated during the project programming phase in exactly the same way any other project goals, strategies, and budgets can be established: through the use of good planning processes. The real question in planning and budgeting should not be “How much more will this cost?” but “How will we do this?” .The site shortcomings are simply due to a lack of training or understanding by site operatives and problems arise when a design team does not understand the difficulties of site conditions or when developing, details or requirements are not practical. Many such problems can be eliminated by engaging the construction team, including subcontractors and site operatives, in the design and procurement process. The integrated team should also include building users and operators wherever possible since these are the people live with the design decisions for many years and help in converting the built environment into being sustainable.