Follow the money.

Consider these factoids about the bottom-line benefits of green retrofits in the November-December issue of Distributed Energy Journal’s online edition:

  • In just 3 years the entire $550 million cost of renovating the Empire State Building will be repaid from energy savings.

    The old Empire State Building is on left. New one is on the right. Can you tell the difference?

  • After the renovations pay off, the Empire State Building will continue to save energy costs to the tune of $4 million a year. And when energy prices go up, savings will increase.
  • Every $100,000 you spend to reduce an energy bill increases the value of the building when you sell it by 10 times. That is the experience of the State of New Jersey’s Commercial & Industrial Clean Energy Programs.
  • In a study by the CoStar Group tenants reported 30% fewer sick days for employees.
  • CoStar researchers also found that building owners report shorter lease signings and higher occupancy than comparable buildings and rents that ranked above industry averages.

Spending money on energy savings is a no-brainer.


Selling green? Sell savings instead.

A new study confirms that saving money is a much more compelling way to sell the majority of the market on green.

McGraw Hill Construction surveyed a total of almost 500 US architects, engineers and contractors in the building industry on their attitudes toward Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM software enables architects and engineers to simulate the in-use performance of buildings they are designing. And BIM helps contractors ensure that design intent is carried through to the finished building, while reducing waste during the build phase.

The report identified two groups within the sample: “Green BIM” and “Non-Green BIM” practitioners.

Green BIM-ers already use BIM to improve green outcomes of the design build process. These folks were asked what it would take to increase use of BIM to achieve improved green outcomes. The chart on the left shows their responses.

The Non-Green BIM-ers were asked what it would take for them to adopt Green BIM. The chart on the right shows their responses.

The #1 reason for Non-Green BIMers to use green BIM is “the owner tells me to.”  The #2 motivator is “saving time and money.” Green BIM-ers don’t even mention saving time and money when listing what will motivate more of their peers to adopt Green BIM.

These attitudes are consistent with long-term studies of green attitudes among consumers. See my post on the American Values Survey. It found that saving money is the main criteria for buying decisions among non-greens. For greenies cost is no object.

It’s still true: sell savings to sell green