Apr 20, 2012
The key to successfully building a green home or office is to have an integrated design team in place prior to creating the drawings. This team should consists of the architect/designer, structural engineer, contractor, electrician, mechanical subcontractor, solar contractor and may include the homeowner.
This team should meet throughout the project "design charrette's", so that they can collaborate during the design and construction phases. This makes the project more effecient and saves money for the homeowner/business owner. This also makes all changes made to the project known to all people involved.
Green construction cost end up costing more if an intergrated team is not put in place because trades need items moved in order to install their product and the design charrette eliminates a lot of these problems. Our number one question is "does building green cost more?" and the answer is no. Today big box stores are carrying FSC certified lumber, energy efficient fixtures and water conservative plumbing fixtures. Also we use spray on foam insulation on the walls which is more expensive but we save by using blown-in insulation in the ceiling which saves us money. Also there is leasing of solar equipment that ends up being cheaper than the normal utility bill.
Yes the green project can become more expensive when we start adding on such items as living roofs, using SIP panels, installing rainwater harvesting......but for the basic building done with green techniques there is a ZERO incresase in cost.
- Ken Arends VP of Sustainability