An Individual Building A Home
As an individual building your own home, you have many decisions to make. In addition to location, floorplan and contractor decisions, you can now determine whether you want to save energy and have a more comfortable home month after month. The time to decide is before you start construction, when you can make the biggest impact on energy waste.
Benefits to EcoBUILD participation
- Energy savings of 30%, compared to standard construction practices
- More comfortable indoor temperatures with less need for thermostat adjustments
- Better indoor air quality with fewer allergens from building materials and air infiltration
- Construction techniques that make your home different from others in the neighborhood, providing a higher resale value in the future
- Personal satisfaction from investment and involvement in a green community
- A personalized EcoBUILD Homeowner's Manual, which serves as proof of certification and outlines all the unique energy and environmental features of your new home
Does it cost more to build green?
Usually, although the amount depends on the type of equipment and materials you specify and how well your contractors size systems and install materials. Some required items, such as 14 SEER air conditioners, have a higher purchase price than the industry minimum 13 SEER unit. However, you may be able to use a model with less tonnage in an EcoBUILD home than in a typical home, due to lower heat gain and better duct systems. This size savings may offset the added cost of the more efficient model. Other "green building" components - from native plants to low VOC paints and finishes are comparably priced so there is little or no added cost.
Calculations, based on local builder experience thus far, indicate the average return on investment for using more efficient equipment and systems is two to three years, based on energy savings. Are you willing to pay a little more now to save 30% on your energy cost each month? Considering that your home is one of the largest investments you'll ever make, it pays to build it with energy efficiency and environmental factors in mind.