Gross Costs and Net Costs

Because architects and engineers tend to think like design professionals and not owners, they often overlook the difference between gross costs and net costs in determining whether to accept or reject sustainable design measures, to the detriment of the project. For example, underfloor air distribution systems cost more, typically $4 to $7 per square foot, on a gross basis. However, by bringing power and data cabling directly to each work station, they eliminate the need for systems furniture that is prewired. This furniture can cost, let's say $1000 (or more, compared with standard partitions) per 150 square foot (gross area) work station, a cost of $6.67 per square foot. The problem is that furniture is in the "FFE" budget and not the base building budget, so this potential cost offset often gets overlooked in early design considerations, even though in many cases the same building owner is paying for both costs. A good example of "penny-wise and pound-foolish," don't you think? Here's another example: rainwater harvesting and reuse not only can contribute 6 to 8 LEED points (similar to the green roof example above), but also can reduce storm sewer system connection fees or "impact fees" by reducing or eliminating stormwater outflows from the site. Again, the design team or the owner may overlook these savings and rule out a rainwater collection and treatment system for cost reasons and, by so doing, actually add cost to the project! These are not far-fetched examples; I've seen them happen on several projects.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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