Image credit: GBCSA

Image credit: GBCSA

In his book Greening our Built World: Costs, Benefits and Strategies, Greg Kats studies the green capital premiums of 180 green buildings. Although the public perception is that there is an additional 17% capital cost to build green, the average capital premium for these buildings is just 1.5%, with most reported premiums being between 0% and 4%.

A report titled, The Rands & Sense of Green Building – a set of eight Green Star SA rated buildings, South African existing building case studies and eleven international case studies, sets out the economic case for green buildings. It dismisses the myth that green buildings are more expensive and lists the benefits of green building.

The report illustrates that the South African property industry should expect the cost premium of building a new commercial green building to be between approximately 1% and 10%. What’s particularly important to note here is that this data was collected from a small sample of buildings, each having been built during an “early adopter” phase of the green building life cycle.

A second resource with a focus on financing sustainable building solutions is our Green Lease Toolkit, which is a guide for both tenants and building owners to harness the benefits of well-designed, well-built (and well-operated) buildings and lay out certain contractual lease obligations between a landlord and a tenant of a building that require or encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly practices. The Green Lease Toolkit is useful to the property industry in preparing lease documents that take both green building design and operational principles into account.

Our goal is to increase access to critical green skills and provide fundamental direction for the building industry to move toward environmental protection and sustainable economic development. More so, we want to foster a collaborative effort and involvement by all stakeholders in South Africa through education and increase the awareness and financial benefit of green buildings in government, industry and the public.

For more information, visit the Green Building Council of South Africa’s website.