Image of MIT Sloan.There’s a general belief that it costs too much to build green. MIT decided to crunch the numbers to get at the real answer using MIT’s LEED Gold Sloan School building. According to surveys conducted over the past 5 years, most people believe the cost of a LEED certified design and construction would be 20 percent to 50 percent more expensive than traditional construction. However the research shows the real cost can be just a small fraction of that.

John Sterman, MIT Sloan School of Management’s Professor of Management, led his students through this survey with his experience at MIT Sloan. Sterman was the co-chair of the building project of the school’s new headquarters. He went against the grain at a time when oil was only $20 per barrel, and presented a plan for a building that would be as energy efficient as possible. The new LEED Gold building is paying off. Electricity use is 42% less than other MIT buildings and energy for heating and cooling are about 70% less. That’s about $500,000 a year in savings.

How much higher were the construction costs for a building this efficient? The building itself only cost an additional 1.6% of the project cost, this is drastically less than the 50% predicted by many. That doesn’t take into consideration the millions of dollars saved on electricity, and HVAC each year compared to a traditional, or code-minimum building.

With savings this great, you can’t afford not to build green. Learn how to implement sustainable building practices and pursue LEED project certification by earning your LEED credential today!