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Main Elements of Soft Cost in Green Buildings

Authors: Nurul Zahirah M.A., N. Zainul Abidin


Green buildings have been commonly cited to be more expensive than conventional buildings. However, limited research has been conducted to clearly identify elements that contribute to this cost differential. The construction cost of buildings can be typically divided into “hard" costs and “soft" cost elements. Using a review analysis of existing literature, the study identified six main elements in green buildings that contribute to the general cost elements that are “soft" in nature. The six elements found are insurance, developer-s experience, design cost, certification, commissioning and energy modeling. Out of the six elements, most literatures have highlighted the increase in design cost for green design as compared to conventional design due to additional architectural and engineering costs, eco-charettes, extra design time, and the further need for a green consultant. The study concluded that these elements of soft cost contribute to the green premium or cost differential of green buildings.

Keywords: Green building, cost differential, soft cost, intangible cost.

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