Detailed Analysis of the Construction, Operating, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation Costs of Green Toronto Schools

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The lack of quantitative data relating initial investment to long-term costs has raised concerns about green buildings' long-term economic effectiveness. This study analyzed the operating, maintenance, rehabilitation and total costs of 10 conventional, 20 energy-retrofitted, and 3 green LEED Toronto schools over eight years. Even though green schools' operating, maintenance, rehabilitation, and total costs were 17%, 20%, 32%, and 25% lower than conventional schools' costs respectively, the statistical analysis showed no statistically significant difference in these costs between conventional, energy-retrofitted and green schools. There was a strong negative linear relationship between schools' operating costs and age, and a strong positive one between schools' maintenance and rehabilitation costs. Results also showed statistically significant linear increases in maintenance and rehabilitation costs over time in conventional and energy-retrofitted schools respectively. Fourteen years of savings in operating, maintenance, and rehabilitation costs were needed for green schools to recover their initial cost premium. The study recommended that future research analyze a larger sample of schools to assert the long-term profitability of the wider population of green buildings. [Authors' abstract]
Issa, M., Attalla, M., Rankin, J., and Christian, A.
Journal of Architectural Engineering
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