First Costs

Photo: Dave Dugdale. License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Reduced operational costs, improved occupant health and productivity, and buildings with small ecological footprints: these are the ways we make the case for green buildings.

What about first cost?

Perhaps to the detriment of green building adoption, we’ve been letting flashy products and innovative case studies paint a picture of higher first costs for green buildings. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Constraints fuel creativity, and plenty of projects are leveraging budgets limitations to meet sustainability goals by designing simpler, more effective spaces.

First Costs

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


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  • Cost-Effective Green Retrofits: Opportunities for Savings in Existing Buildings

    Feature Article

    Between lighting, water use, mechanical systems, the building envelope, and occupant health, existing buildings are rife with cost-effective retrofits and operational opportunities that also offer environmental benefits. Improvements range from the painfully obvious to the more complex and involved.

  • Integrated Project Delivery: A Platform for Efficient Construction

    Feature Article

    Integrated project delivery, or IPD, is a new contract mechanism for design and construction. Among its benefits for green building, it enshrines integrated design and building information modeling (BIM) into a legally supportive framework.

  • Water Policies: Encouraging Conservation

    Feature Article

    Conserving water goes beyond building design and technology. Water use is governed by federal, state, and local policies, from maximum flow requirements to pricing structures that encourage or discourage conservation.

  • Navigating Incentives and Regulations for Green Building

    Feature Article

    When used in combination, incentives and regulations can be a powerful force for encouraging green buildings. Incentives can be complicated to navigate, but are often well worth the effort. Regulations, on the other hand, can be slow to change, but can raise the baseline for building performance.

Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


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In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


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Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


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