LEED designed projects cost-effective

The cost of constructing a building to international sustainable standards is no higher than creating a non-green building according to a leading industry professional.

Seneviratne: the application of sustainable building design methods such as LEED can result in commercial as well as environmental benefits.
Seneviratne: the application of sustainable building design methods such as LEED can result in commercial as well as environmental benefits.

The cost of constructing a building to international sustainable standards is no higher than creating a non-green building according to a leading industry professional.

Mario Seneviratne, director of Dubai-based Green Technologies and secretary to the board of the Emirates Green Building Council stated: "Green buildings do not cost more and I would challenge anyone to prove that they do. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system) makes business sense."

Speaking at a seminar hosted by manufacturer Trane entitled 'Building a greener', Seneviratne stressed the low costs involved in applying a rating system such as LEED. "Studies done in the US and Australia show that LEED buildings don't cost more...even to achieve Platinum rating now only costs 6% more than for a normal building," he assured.

Significant business benefits can also be achieved by applying sustainable design techniques to buildings stated Seneviratne: "The savings [when LEED is applied] are immediate and measurable.

"Benefits of LEED include third-party validation of your achievements and marketing exposure...there is 10-30% more interest in LEED buildings that are advertised for rent or sale," he added.

Seneviratne stressed that LEED can be applied to most buildings and should be used as a tool by the entire design team, with MEP professionals key to its application. "Even if you don't use LEED for rating a building by using it as a design tool it will give a very good building...more than 50% of LEED points are to do with M&E engineers, you have a controlling share of the building design."

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