Is Green Building Design A Costly Affair?

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Sustainability, green buildings and energy efficiency are the buzzwords, and everyone is talking about it. These words are so talked about, is because, till now energy conservation was considered an issue that might arise in near future, however today it has become a major problem plaguing our present and hence addressing it is of crucial importance. One of the biggest reasons why energy modeling and green building design is yet to be accepted and widely used across every home and every building across the globe is that, people still think that it costs too much to go green – especially to design and develop energy efficient buildings.

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However, this is a complete myth, a great design and with implementation of lean construction methodologies, it will not cost you; instead, it will pay you to go green. In fact Energy Modeling/Analysis/Simulation for EPact 179D can result in potential tax savings for architects, engineers, builders and building owners. The Energy Policy Act 179D 2005, outlines the requirements for maximum tax deduction potential, of up to $1.80 per square foot of an energy efficient area.

Save a Dozen for a Dime:
True enough that if a developer pursues Energy Modeling & Building Simulation for LEED & Estidama Certification etc, it will definitely cost something. However, you get a dozen for the dime spent. These certifications increase the market value of your building, besides; making a building energy efficient, means you can save a lot on utility bills over the years. In several cases, the cost of extra investments made for implementing energy efficiency, are recovered within a few years of a building lifecycle, due to huge savings on utility bills.

Generate Your Own Energy:
Today energy efficiency in buildings, has reached its zenith, as it now not only restricted to net zero energy building (NZEB’s), now architects are developing building that generate surplus amount of energy. All this energy is generated from renewable resources such as solar energy, geothermal energy, wind and water etc.

The traditional architectural design process is linear, and in order to enforce the best energy efficiency solutions is it important to hire specialists for the job and conduct an Energy Analysis/Simulation in support of Energy Audit. After a complete analysis, solutions devised should treat the problem root up. When this is not done, and shallow resolutions are frantically enforced, it turns out to become a building design covered in green expensive bandages, which do little more than to cover-up the wounds. This is where the costs start weighing more than the benefits.

A Collaborative Approach:
A green building design revolution can be only brought about, if we change our mindsets. It is not an option, it is a dire requirement. A collaborative approach is very important for teams working on a building design and construction projects. When all the parties, architects, engineers, decision makers and stakeholders come together to discuss tradeoffs, a common goal of implementing green solutions can be achieved. For example, the if a team collective decides to invest in better insulation in a building, it might seem to be like more expenditure on the front, however it results in downsized HVAC equipments thus reduced costs. Such kind of fruitful tradeoff decisions can be taken in a better manner in a collaborative approach, thus saving a lot of time and money.


About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi

Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and a green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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