Benefits Of Green Building Investments Are Inconclusive - Home Builders Need Consistent Data First

Share Article

Yesterday, at the Economic Valuation session at the White House's 2012 GreenGov Symposium in Washington, DC, a new study by McGraw-Hill Construction concluded that home builders must have metrics and consistent data in place on green building. Therefore, the benefits of building green homes cannot be substantiated today. Destiny Homes, a luxury home builder serving Twin Cities residential communities, has over 35 years of building and consulting experience helping Minneapolis and St Paul area homeowners determine how to build or renovate their home.

Building a green home benefits include economic value, environmental value and social value

Determining the Valuie Of Building A Green Home

Yesterday, at the White House's 2012 GreenGov Symposium, McGraw-Hill Construction released a SmartMarket Executive Brief: Determining the Value of Green Building Investments: A Perspective From Industry Leaders on Triple Bottom Line Decision Making. McGraw-Hill Companies conducted the research in partnership with URS.

"Green building has moved into the mainstream, now accounting for 41% of the total value of the nonresidential construction market, said McGraw-Hill Construction in the report. At the same time, the report objectively recognized the construction industry's on-going struggle with capturing the extent of the value of the green projects they have completed, and therefore, they cannot lean on that value and take it into account when making their green project decisions.

Destiny Homes has also found it impossible, to date, to put forth concrete evidence of the value of green building that some homeowners question as they consider the absorbing the added costs and time required into budgets and time lines.

Construction project managers, home builders, and industry leaders can make informed decisions on their sustainable investments as part of a triple bottom line management strategy. A cost-benefit analysis of sustainable investment strategies offers design teams and decision-makers a more complete, proof-of-value picture of the construction project's triple bottom line: economic value, environmental value and social value.

The report came to two clear conclusions:

1) More than half of all surveyed respondents report there is a need for more data to bring clarity to the discussion about non-financial benefits of green home construction to encourage their organizations to increase investments in green building.

2) The need exists for standardized measures that can fully capture the impact of green building across the triple bottom line.

According to the reports findings, factors influencing green project decisions include:

  • Homeowner Cost Savings: The cost of building green is measured by all interview subjects in terms of their ROI rather than in terms of first costs alone.
  • Organization’s Mission/Purpose: For example, in the healthcare sector, factors that promote better health— such as indoor air environment improvements and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions—drive the specific green targets they pursue.
  • Organization-Wide Sustainability Goals: The organizations’ leadership are most influential in

determining these goals and the specific green building projects undertaken.

Destiny Homes finds that compiling sufficient data and case studies to establish the value of non-financial benefits of green building is a huge undertaking. "We will be able to help clients embrace the costs of green home construction with better tools that result in a more thorough and reliable data that makes it value more tangible. The SmartMarket Executive Brief will help determine an industry-consensus definition of lifecycle costing based on impacts across the triple bottom line".

Attention continues to increase on the impact of sustainable environmental design solutions on the maintenance and running costs of buildings and the amount of energy that is embodied in construction materials and processes. Increasingly, life-cycle assessments, called LCA 2, are being measures, which include not only operation and maintenance considerations, but also the manufacture of construction materials. "In addition, a new generation of building guidance is focusing on the total energy costs of buildings, from the design stage through to completion, including considerations about their recyclability," according to Hammond and Jones.

If you are seeking to build a home or begin a major home renovation project, and reside in the Minneapolis and St Paul community, we can help you weigh your personal options. As a top Twin Cities award winner, we walk homeowners through the process of professional remodeling with excellent services and the best home designs in professional renovations. Call 952-923-5706.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Butch and Liz Sprenger
Visit website