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Cost of going green

Cost of going green

Making your offices green may be environmentally wise, but is it financially viable? Kipp takes a closer look at the cost of being environmentally friendly in the UAE.

October 7, 2010 2:17 by

This week President Obama announced that he’d be pimping up the White House with a new set of solar panels. Welcome as his green gesture is, it has sparked interest about how cost efficient the installation will really be. Danny Kennedy, the founder of California-based solar energy provider Sungevity estimates that “outfitting Obama’s pad with solar panels” will cost $100,000. But pricey as it sounds, the installation is an investment. Kennedy said the money would be earned back with savings on the electricity bill within the first five years.

Here in the UAE, “going green” is not just everybody’s favourite eco-catch phrase, it’s also a source of much contention. For years, the UAE has been deliberating passing regulation that would see construction projects forced to proceed with the protection of the environment in mind. Many would welcome the move, but others are cautious about the increased expenses builders will incur – expenses that they would then presumably pass on in the form of increased rent for tenants. “The overall cost of construction will rise substantially, putting a strain on financing modules and ultimately on the local community, the purchasers, tenants or end users,” says Antonios Dimitracopoulos, partner at Bin Shabib & Associates (BSA) LLP.

Given the current tightening of purse strings spurred on by the financial crisis, it is not surprising that Gulf News recently reported that the high costs that builders assume are associated with going green are often a deterrent for building owners.

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