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Study quantifies cost premiums for net zero buildings

The 73-page report breaks down the incremental cost premiums for transforming three LEED Platinum-designed buildings into net-zero energy, net-zero water, and living Buildings. 

May 22, 2014 |
Getting to net zero: How do we power an existing building with all renewable ene

The District of Columbia has more green buildings than other large U.S. cities on a per capita basis, according to the 2012 Green Building Report. D.C.’s policies have made it a leader in highly efficient building construction and renovation.

New goals will likely prompt the District to raise the efficiency bar even higher. To help guide policies for a new era of green design, D.C.’s Department of the Environment commissioned a study to assess costs and benefits associated with net zero energy, net zero water, and Living Buildings.

The Net Zero and Living Building Challenge Financial Study: A Cost Comparison Report for Buildings in the District of Columbia was conducted by International Living Future Institute, New Buildings Institute, and Skanska. The team’s analysis identified incremental cost premiums for deep energy and water conservation as well as for photovoltaic and water reuse systems that would bring a project to net zero.

The cost premium for energy efficiency was 1%-12% depending on building type, and rose to 5%-19% for net zero energy. “If the owner has sufficient tax appetite, tax credits and renewable energy credits make the return on investment approximately 30%, whereas the return on investment for energy efficiency alone was in the range of 5-12%,” the report says.

Read the full report at:

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