I missed this report last week, but a survey by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development found that there is a big gap in builders’ understanding of how pricey it is to build green. On average, the 1,400 participants estimated that building green would cost 17% more, though the group estimates that it averages around 5% in developed countries. (On page 26 of the report there are figures looking specifically at different LEED ratings for the U.S. and how that price increase varies by area and rating)
ust as interesting, the respondants underestimated how much buildings contribute to greenhouse gases, pegging the contribution at 19%, when it's actually 40%.
Clearly, this group has an agenda, though the survey was backed by companies including United Technologies and DuPont.
But maybe the more interesting point is the one made by a commenter at the Clean Break blog. The perceptions about costs might not be the only hindering issue. It could also be that retraining builders, especially in a market that's going south in many areas, is a hard sell. Often, it seems with efficiency, it's old habits that are just as hard to change as expense calculations.
BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.