The green building movement is no longer an emerging trend – it is here to stay. In fact, residential, commercial and institutional green construction is expected to double by 2016. Yet, architects still have difficulty convincing building owners and homeowners that going green doesn’t always have to come at a hefty price.
The article in the latest issue of our Architect newsletter makes the case as to how architects can take advantage of financial incentives to offset the initial costs of green building. Here are a few tips from the article:
- Offsetting Costs with Financial Incentives. Architects should know about and be able to take advantage of available tax incentives, rebates, grants and loans in life-cycle analyses. This will allow architects to clearly demonstrate the money saving possibilities to clients and focus on long-term energy saving benefits – both of which can make a difference in the bottom line.
- Knowing the Options. There are more than 1,450 incentive programs available for both residential and commercial construction. DSIRE (the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) is a comprehensive database that will help identify the right option for each project.
- Understanding the Incentive Landscape. Be aware of any financial incentives that are available through federal, state and local governments as well as local or regional utility companies. Knowing the details of each can help optimize the project’s energy efficiency improvements while keeping the upfront costs as low as possible.
- Sharing the Wealth. Knowing your options is one thing, but sharing it with clients is a whole different ball game. As Kurt Haapala, AIA, principal of Mahlum Architects, Seattle, says “It’s not complex math. If you can paint a picture of environmental and financial benefits, you get over that first cost hump easier.”