Often building a green or high-performance home cost more than conventional home building, particularly in “soft cost” for design, energy modeling, materials, and certification. Cost can range from an extra 1-5 percent depending on the level of certification and measures employed. An extremely high-performance home built to the higher levels of sustainability (LEED GOLD or 5 Star Built Green) may involve additional building costs.
What should be closely looked at in high-performance homes are the measurable benefits including the life-cycle savings from energy and water consumption, material durability and the non-measurable benefits like increased indoor air-quality, increased daylighting and even temperatures throughout the home, no drafts. The non-measurable benefits are perhaps the hardest green features to quantify achieved through value-engineered building, tighter building envelopes, use of environmentally friendly materials, and higher performing heating and cooling systems.
Building materials are no longer being selected by price and task. Green building materials and products have one or more of the following qualities:
Are locally extracted and processed
Promote good indoor air-quality (through reduced emissions of VOCs and/or formaldehyde)
Made from natural and/or renewable resources
Manufactured from waste materials (fly ash or straw)
Can be recyclable or reused when no longer needed
Are recycled from existing or demolished structures
Green Built Homes in Seattle
Home builders in the Seattle area have been gearing up to what looks like will be an increasing buyer driven demand for energy efficient green built homes. Seattle has a nice selection of Green Built homes for sale starting at $234,900. In the Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah and Redmond areas you can find Built Green homes for sale starting at $274,500.
Not all green homes are built to the same standards and performance levels, when looking for a green built home it’s important to know the difference between the green certifications being offered and the best values. Talk to someone who can break it all down in too easy to understand plain English. For more information visit my website.