DO GREEN BUILDNGS COST MORE?
The truth is there is no answer to that question. Costs can vary from one project to another, however, here in Nairobi the cost of building a Green building is on par with an average building and sometimes can work out to be even cheaper just by using certain ‘low tech’ design principles. There is no need of expensive A/C or curtain walling (full glass). Couple that with the continuously falling costs of renewable energy systems such as Solar panels and you have a recipe to achieve a modern, green building that is cost efficient during construction and for many years to come.
If you are comparing a building with solar panels to a traditional building without solar panels, it would appear like the traditional building costs less. However, what this building fails to account for is the building with solar panels will begin producing energy and lowering your monthly electricity bill. The cost of the solar building will be much less over time and the prices of Solar products have continuously been falling over time.
Green products and systems will pay for themselves in the long run of the building, the opportunities and benefits to save money in the operation of the building are endless. From replacing normal bulbs with LED bulbs, incorporating large windows and atriums for better lighting and fresh air, water reduction through waste water management systems, rain water harvesting etc.
Although some green building materials cost more than their traditional counterparts, there are also many more that cost below standard. Recycling materials has allowed for a new generation of environmentally-friendly products that are less costly to produce. Of course, green materials also have a very important long-term benefit of not destroying our planets resources.