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Study: Green and traditional construction costs comparable

October 14, 2009
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NEW YORK — A recent study conducted by global construction consultants Davis Langdon and the Urban Green Council, in conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, reveals that sustainable construction costs are nearly identical to traditional construction costs, according to Construction Digital.
Throughout 2008, data for "The Cost of Green in NYC" was gathered on 107 projects throughout the New York City area and surveys were conducted for buildings with and without sustainability goals, the story stated.
According to the release, data points included construction costs, design fees, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design fees, additional LEED fees and commissioning fees.
The average cost per square foot for a high-rise residential building without LEED certification was $436; the average cost with LEED certification was $440, the story noted.
Russell Unger, executive director of the Urban Green Council, said: "I think if you ask the average developer, they would say [green construction] costs more. Proving statistically that green is not more costly is significant in increasing the market share for green building. You''re not going to come out better off if you''re not LEED."
Many of the additional costs currently associated with LEED are dropping as LEED-compliant materials, systems and processes become more common, a trend that will create more parity between green construction prices and traditional construction costs, the story added.
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