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(EST-821) Estimating the Green Premium: An Oklahoma City Case Study

Primary Author: Ms. Rachel Mosier City of Oklahoma City
Co-author(s): Dr Douglas D Gransberg PE FRICS CCE Iowa State University

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Experience-Based
Venue: 2012 AACE International Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, USA

Abstract: Advocates of sustainable design and construction have asserted for years that sustainability can be designed and built into a building project without additional expense. The basis of the assertion is the potential accrued savings due to reduced life cycle costs such as utility bills. This argument may apply in the private sector, but in the public sector, the owner must estimate the capital costs of design and construction and obtain bond funding in an amount sufficient to deliver the entire project. Offsetting life cycle savings may furnish justification but they do not reduce the amount of funding necessary to deliver a green building. This paper presents a rational methodology for evaluating the additional costs of sustainable design and construction and then validates the process using a case study analysis of four public building projects that were constructed in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. The paper concludes that methodology is an effective decision-making tool for determining not only the cost of the green premium but also assisting the public owner in selecting which sustainable design and construction features it wants to include in a given public building project.