By Steve Rizer
In the not-too-distant future, the cost of “building-integrated vegetation” (BIV) -- the use of green roofs and green walls to improve air quality and manage stormwater, among other things -- could drop significantly, according to a report that Lux Research Inc. recently released. The firm believes that if certain steps are taken, BIV costs could plunge from about $38 per square foot in 2012 to roughly $23/sq. ft. in 2017.
Reaching such a lower cost, however, would require a combination of “diverse approaches” for making BIV more economical, Lux cautioned, noting that the market for green roofs and green walls “will still depend on incentives for wider adoption.”
Among the steps that can be taken to drive down BIV costs are reductions in external irrigation and weeding, which together can slice 40-year operation-and-maintenance costs in half, Lux Senior Analyst Aditya Ranade predicted. “Similarly, waterproofing, drainage, and insulation costs can be cut by 60 percent.” He served as the lead author of the report, entitled “Crossing the Chasm: Demonstrating Economic Value Is the Next Test for Building-integrated Vegetation.”
“There are many untapped opportunities to make BIV a better investment and reduce -- though not eliminate -- its dependence on subsidies and incentives,” Ranade asserted.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes the transcript of an interview that ConstructionPro Week recently conducted with Ranade.