Study Examines the Cost of Green Building

May 12, 2006
The National Multi Housing Council releases a study that quantifies the cost of LEED certification

The Washington, D.C.-based National Multi Housing Council is sharing the results of a green building study conducted by Davis Langdon Adamson. Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budgeting Methodology provides an overview of the green practices (and associated costs) required to achieve certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System®.

The study analyzes data and compares costs in academic buildings, laboratory buildings, and libraries, and also calculates the difference in costs for a LEED-seeking vs. non-LEED building. The Costing Green study “uses extensive data on building costs to compare the cost of green buildings with buildings housing comparable programs, which do not have sustainable goals.”

The conclusion reached by the study is that many sustainable projects achieve green design within their initial budget, or with very small supplemental funding. Despite this, the study discourages owners from believing that a one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting for sustainable building exists. “Each building project is unique and should be considered as such when addressing the cost and feasibility of LEED. Benchmarking with other comparable projects can be valuable and informative, but not predictive. Any assessment of the cost of sustainable design for a particular building must be made with reference to that building, its specific circumstances, and goals.”

To review the report in its entirety, visit (

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