Constructing green buildings is not as costly as previously thought, according to recent research.

A new study released by the Urban Green Council says that building green high-rise towers in New York City is not the high cost option it has been held to be.

The study suggested that there is no significant difference in construction costs of residential towers and commercial interiors when comparing those that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and those that do not.

The elimination of the price gap is believed to have come about because the cost for LEED-compliant materials is dropping as they enter the mainstream and developers are saving money elsewhere by making different choices, such as opting for less expensive bamboo countertops instead of granite.

The study found that the average cost for constructing LEED high-rise residential towers was $440 per square foot, compared to $437 per square foot for non-LEED projects.

Russell Unger, executive director of the Urban Green Council, said the study “confirmed more firmly that cost should not be a barrier.”

The study was compiled from an examination of the costs for 38 high-rise residences and 25 commercial interiors. The study did not specify whether LEED buildings outperformed non-LEED buildings in the market.