economic Value
Operating Costs

The ongoing costs associated with maintaining a building or project after occupation

Often during design and development of a project, clients focus first on the cost of construction. However, these initial costs can account for as little as 5-10% of what an owner will pay over the lifetime of a building, while operation and maintenance costs can account for 60-80%.1 To reap the greatest value from a project, design must consider the long-term investment and returns.

Green buildings typically save money through reduced energy use, reduced water use and lower long-term maintenance costs that make up for any additional design and construction costs within a reasonable payback period. Often these savings can incur with no additional investment up front.2 When there is a premium for green building strategies, the operational savings can offset the initial investment by a factor of six.3

Various studies show that high-performance design can lower operating costs anywhere from 13.6% to 50%,4 with 30% being the average.5 Some estimates calculate a savings of $50-75 per square foot.6

By focusing on improved building performance and lifecycles of materials and systems for environmental benefits, green buildings actually show significant financial benefits, as well.