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This study investigates the energy and cost performance of thirty recent buildings in Melbourne, Australia. Commonly, building design decisions are based on issues pertaining to construction cost, and consideration of energy performance is made only within the context of the initial project budget. Even where energy is elevated to more importance, operating energy is seen as the focus and embodied energy is nearly always ignored. For the first time, a large sample of buildings has been assembled and analyzed to improve the understanding of both energy and cost performance over their full life cycle, which formed the basis of a wider doctoral study into the inherent relationship between energy and cost. The aim of this paper is to report on typical values for embodied energy, operating energy, capital cost and operating cost per square metre for a range of building functional types investigated in this research. The conclusion is that energy and cost have quite different profiles across projects, and yet the mean GJ/m2 or cost/m2 have relatively low coefficients of variation and therefore may be useful as benchmarks of typical building performance.
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