An investigation of the financial benefits of green buildings
Du Toit, Frans Alwyn
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Due to the deterioration of the earth’s health and the uncertainty in terms of climate changes, economy, food, water and energy supplies, the above terms have become worldwide phenomena. Buildings have a huge role to play in addressing the environmental concerns as they play a contributing role in gas emissions, waste disposal and energy use. The literature review and results of the quantitative research amongst experts like facility and building managers, leasing agents, finance managers and project managers in the property sector formed the basis of the study. Although green buildings are regarded as the future, the study revealed that there is a perception, even amongst experts in the property sector that the upfront costs of building green is substantially higher when compared to building conventional, which limits the construction of green buildings. This research is aimed at investigating whether building green leads to financial benefits which will ultimately provide the differentiator when it comes down to a final decision whether to invest in green buildings or not. An overview is also provided on the fundamental principles of green buildings which are important to be implemented in the construction of green buildings in order to maximise the financial benefits provided by green buildings. The study showed that experts agreed that the concepts applied in green buildings lead to long-term financial savings which justifies the statement that a realistic comparison between the total costs of building green versus building conventional can only be achieved over the lifecycle of a building. The main finding of this study is that there is awareness and understanding of the financial benefits associated with green buildings which implies that green buildings have a good growth potential.