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27 Mar 2009 05:03:06

Sustainable design does not have to cost more

Sustainable design does not have to cost more
Including energy efficiency and sustainability in the design of a building need not cost more, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland.

The organisation commissioned research from Glasgow Caledonian University which found that including sustainability in the design process from the start can be achieved within most construction budgets.

According to the research, which was carried out to establish a method of life cycle costing, it is a "gross oversimplification" to suggest sustainable design would add 10 to 15 percent to the cost of the building.

The report added that thinking sustainability increased building costs was rooted in "addition thinking" – considering the cost of sustainable design by thinking of how much it would cost to amend existing designs.

It also claimed that the installation of microgeneration devices was not justified on economic grounds, though it does not take into account feed-in tariffs to be introduced next year.

Feed-in tariffs, featured in the Energy Act 2008, will mean owners of microgeneration installations can sell their electricity to the grid at a higher rate than they buy power.

The report cites a figure of 3p per unit as the price energy companies pay for surplus electricity generated by microgeneration, though the Renewables Energy Association has suggested 11.5p for wind powered microgeneration and 50p for building-integrated solar.


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