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A Framework for Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Sustainability Features in Buildings

Sustainability has been heightened to a new level of importance, due to the current global race for commodities and conservation of our environment. Buildings are of particular interest since they are significant contributors to consumption of resources. Since the inception of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, there has been a constant increase in the number of LEED certified buildings green buildings. Do green buildings truly provide financial benefits? What framework needs to be in place and followed to gauge these benefits? This paper focuses on the creation of a framework for the life cycle cost assessment of sustainability features in the areas of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components further subdivided into green and nonā€green base construction, consumption, operations and maintenance costs to generate percent savings or percent added cost. The findings of the research were also compared to leading researchers in the field of costs of building green. A case study was researched based on a recently designed and constructed dormitory, awarded LEED Gold Certification, of a major higher education institution.