Natural Resources Defense Council BUILDING GREEN FROM PRINCIPLE TO PRACTICE
Home Build Your Business Case Set Your Budget and Goals Adopt a Whole-Building Approach Apply Sustainable Building Strategies Capitalize on Your Achievement
ENGINEER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL
VALUE

As you value-engineer your project, be sure to examine green investments in terms of how they will affect expenses over the entire life of the building. Before you decide to cut a line item, look first at its relationship to other features to see if keeping it will help you achieve money-saving synergies, as well as LEED credits. Many energy-saving features allow for the resizing or elimination of other equipment, or reduce total capital costs by paying for themselves immediately or within a few months of operation. Even more effective in the long-run is to implement "life cycle" value-engineering rather than "first cost" value-engineering.

See the resources below for help assessing life cycle costs:

International Design Center for the Environment
IDCE is a non-profit organization that promotes community sustainability and develops and disseminates tools for scientifically robust and efficient lifecycle analysis of common materials.

LBLN High Performance Commercial Building Systems
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is developing a set of life cycle cost tools for improving commercial building performance.

Whole Building Design Guide - Life Cycle Tools
The Whole Building Design Guide, developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences, provides a variety of life cycle cost and assessment tools.

Federal Energy Management Program
Here is an additional resource for downloading software developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Life-Cycle Cost programs.

Next: Take Advantage of Incentives »
TOP APPROACHES
Set Your Goals Early
Build a Green Design Team
Integrate the Design and
Building Process
Convene Design Workshops
Use the LEED Rating System
as a Guide
Engineer for Environmental
Value
Take Advantage of Incentives
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RESOURCE CENTER

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