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Groundbreaking ‘Cost of LEED’ White Paper Released


BRATTLEBORO, VT – The Cost of LEED: A Report on Cost Expectations to Meet LEED-NC v2009 is now available. For the first time, cost information on hundreds of specific technologies and approaches that teams are using to earn points in the current LEED for New Construction rating system is available in an easy to understand, credit by credit format.

While previously published studies have taken an aggregated approach—trying to predict overall cost impact of LEED from looking at previous projects—this report draws from the resources and experience of veteran cost estimators to present the cost of specific measures a team is likely to consider.

"The goal of this report was to get a handle on the ways in which LEED credits can be achieved, and to understand the cost implications of those actions within a building project" says Stephen Oppenheimer, AIA, of Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, co-author of the report. "We were not interested in generalizations of what a LEED Silver project might cost. We wanted much more detail than that."

The result is a report that helps a team to better understand the implications of LEED on the cost of its own particular project. The report features a list of "standard" approaches compared to "high-performance" options, along with cost premiums for those options.

Compiled by a team of seasoned practitioners who have collaborated on LEED-certified buildings, this report benefits from real-world experience in identifying the construction cost areas that matter.

This special report is the work of Stephen Oppenheimer and Sara Mills-Knapp of Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, and Inga Lenova, Robert Andrews of AHA Engineers, with cost estimating by James Vermeulens and Craig Chiarelli of Vermeulens Cost Consultants. The authors are seasoned professionals who have worked together on a number of LEED projects. Their efforts were supported by Nadav Malin and Jim Newman of BuildingGreen.

The 47-page report is available for $49 as a downloadable PDF from, or as a printed report from

BuildingGreen, LLC has been the first source professionals turn to on green building practices and products since its founding in 1985. Its award-winning information platforms include Environmental Building News (launched in 1992 as the first North American publication focused on green building), GreenSpec (the leading print and online directory of green building products), and LEEDuser, a resource and community for help with LEED projects, online at For information, visit or call (802) 257-7300.