Benefits and Costs
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN PAYS
Numerous studies over the years have investigated the payback and benefits, both in money and other terms, of investing more in the sustainability of a building. We call it future-proofing, and viewed as an investment it is one of the most low risk places one can put one’s money. Study after study returns to the finding that greener buildings cost no more than 10% to 20% more than a conventional one and can deliver benefits that far outweigh the money spent. The benefits accrue in both quantifiable forms (money, CO2 reduction, lower water and energy costs) and in less tangible, but often measuarable in a secondary or long term way, such as health, productivity, employee presentism and satisfaction, or resale value. A building that has been built with additional insulation or had renewable power generation systems installed (or rainwater harvesting system included) has in affect pre bought the resources (power/heat/water) it requires over its lifetime – at known present (and thus fixed) prices – making the owner immune to inevitable cost rises as energy and resources get scarcer. Buildings that are close to nature, or integrate nature into them, improve employee perfomance while health enhancing interiors (i.e. that use more natural, fewer synthetic materials and finishes, have natural ventilation etc.) help users avoid sickness. Natural daylighting not only reduces electricity bills but helps people stay alert and avoid lethargy, depression etc.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND BUDGETS
Having a clear and realistic budget for a building project is one of the most important aspects of planning a project whether new build or renovation, conventional or sustainable. Apart from building costs, other expenses such as fees, land costs, planning costs and contributions, tax etc. must also be budgeted for.
We have considerable experience and well-honed techniques for getting to and staying on our client budgets.
The profesionals that architects most rely on to guide and control cost are quantity surveyors and we recommend one is appointed to almost all projects.
In terms of putting € numbers on your build, we thought we’d leave it to well known QS Patricia Power to lay out the cost and complexities of budgeting for construction in this recent piece from The Irish Examiner