The term “High Performance” tends to scare people a bit, for the idea of top-notch equipment and systems is associated with hefty prices. But, is this so? Design, conditions and materials do change or evolve, but the bottom line remains a fairly stable variable: ensuring a strong ROI for every project.
In this, the fourth installment in our blog series on energy planning in California, we review several key points to help you submit high-performance designs to your clients and staying in the healthy side of business.
Follow the shortcuts for the entire series and get helpful information for your development projects:
Part 1 – The Importance of Smart Energy Planning for California Development Projects
Part 2 – The Impact of California Energy Code on Your Development Project’s Budget
Part 3 – 10 Features Developers Need to Know About California Energy Code
Part 4 – Can High-Performance Design Improve ROI on Commercial Developments in California?
Part 5 – Best Practices for Sustainable Development Projects in California
Part 6 – Boosting the Value of Mixed-Use Developments with Proper Energy Planning
Does high-performance design improve ROI?
Well, it depends. It all has to do with a developer’s vision. Top-notch equipment and digital systems may not necessarily be on the cheap side, but we have identified at least four reasons why it can actually be better for your business.
- High-performance design reduces the lifetime cost of the building. High-performance designs mean a better building management process, because of a steady flow of information about conditions; so, maintenance and replacements are much better done. And high-performance buildings run much more efficiently. The lifetime operational costs will be much more balanced, and this will reflect in your numbers. Your long-run ROI will be stronger, no doubt.
- A high-performance design raises the value of the building and moves you up a notch in the marketplace. A house or a building that provides a better quality of life because of its design and the use of automatic systems, is more attractive when buying, but also when reselling. Keep in mind that for any client, buying an apartment is an investment, and knowing that an asset will retain its value for many years, will tip the balance on that decision.
- High-performance design improves your competitive edge as a designer or architect, because clients themselves will become ambassadors for your firm, and nobody is better equipped to provide positive feedback on whether a building provides everything that it promises than satisfied dwellers. So, prospective clients will have stronger positive arguments to invest in your projects. And this will positively impact the general return for your firm.
- Finally, a high-performance design allows for commanding a higher rent or sale price. Let’s remember here that although return can be measured by using different approaches, the final price that you get is never out of the equation. In any case, rent or final sale, your project points to a different market level, one that appreciates a better life quality, be it for a limited time or for a life investment.
We have shown a few positive arguments, and of course, there are other factors that could make these answers to be less definitive. The market could take a turn, a particular project design could not sell well due to other factors, and your firm’s return does not necessarily depend on specific projects.
At the same time, high-performance designs are expected to be more efficient by saving energy or by producing less waste, and this is the type of design that saves both time and money in the short and the long run.