Low cost green home building
We all know the benefits of owning an eco-friendly home: they use less power and electricity and they’re easier to keep warm, saving you money, plus they’re better for your health and have low environmental footprints.
But what about the initial financial outlay? Saving money in the long-term is an attractive prospect, but is it worth it if you have to break the bank to build a green home?
It’s easy to think so when many innovative technologies that seem to be required for green homes are prohibitively expensive. But the truth is that there are building options for green homes that fit into a wide ranges of budgets, just as there are for traditional construction. In many cases, simple environmentally-friendly substitutions can be made at no additional cost during the building process. And to reach deep savings, use salvaged materials during construction. Not only will the environment benefit from reusing good-quality used materials, but you’ll reduce your initial outlay significantly.
In addition, the popularity of green home technologies has created market competition, resulting in both a wider range of options to choose from and lower overall prices. Sustainable architects have developed an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative green home designs to choose from, and improvements in money and energy-saving technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels mean that it’s easier and cheaper to create an energy-efficient home than ever before.
In particular, air-source heat pumps are competitively priced – and in some cases are even cheaper than – traditional heating systems, making them an affordable option for green building that has a significant impact on long-term energy expenditures. Likewise, choosing low-flow plumbing fixtures over standard models is another way to reduce your home’s environmental footprint without increasing your initial outlay.
When considering the initial design of your green home, the single biggest factor, both in terms of initial cost and in long-term expense, is the size of your home. Homes have historically increased in size over the last several decades while family sizes have grown smaller. Choosing to build a home with only the space you need, and in using space efficiently and creatively, is an effective way to reduce building costs and the environmental impact of your home over its lifespan.
Finally, when considering the initial outlay of a green home, you have to consider the overall quality of the building you’re constructing. While it’s possible to minimise costs during the building process, the aim of green building is to create a higher-quality home that improves efficiency, performance and the health of its occupants. In any market, premium products will cost more, but the benefits of owning a green home – personal, financial and environmental – will far outweigh a slight increase in building costs.