What’s the Best Green Home for your money? “I’m often asked by clients, ‘Building green costs more, right?’ ”
I simply respond with the question, “What does building ‘green’ mean to you?”
Answers nearly always include something about energy conservation and for good reason. Significant reductions in energy use positively impact one’s wallet and the environment. Hundreds of existing green home programs all emphasize the imperative of reducing energy consumption and the Hi-Performance benefits. So allow me to rephrase the question. “Energy-saving homes cost more, right?”
My answer, “Very energy-efficient, Hi-Performance homes may cost a little more to build, or they may not, but our Energy Smart Homes cost far less to own than Energy-Hog Homes. And an Energy Smart Home is the best green home for the money.”
But surprisingly, some aspects of building Energy Smart Homes actually costs less. A lot less. Consider the air-conditioning system, arguably the heart of the South Florida home. Now ask any local, “code minimum” builder what size AC system is needed to keep a home comfortable and the odds are answer will be, “500 square feet per ton. Maybe 600 square feet…if you are lucky.”
But relying on luck results in energy bills more than double that of a Best Green Home or an Energy Smart Home, adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of ownership and even years of additional mortgage payments.* So the best green homes are constructed to Energy Smart Home Plans (ESHP) specs, and require AC systems that are less than half the size of an Energy-Hog Home!
The Best Green Home for your wallet.
See below our 2,570 sq. ft. (AC), Energy Smart model home that is being built by Greenery Communities in Waterset, an Apollo Beach, FL development. Energy calculations performed by the building science firm Calcs-Plus revealed the West Indies style home scored a 47 HERS and requires less than 2 tons of AC, or an astounding 1,395 sq. ft. (AC) per ton! That’s a 65% smaller AC system than the energy-hog builder would install in their Energy-Hog Home of the same size!
HVAC Design & Energy Calculations by Calcs Plus
“So, does a Hi-Performance Home cost more?”
Answer: “Not if you know what you are doing.”
* I’ll be following up with blogs describing how Energy Smart Home Plans designs Hi-Performance Homes making even Net-Zero Energy Homes not only possible, but very affordable. We’ll look at more real-life examples of the unbelievably low energy costs our home owners enjoy and leave the energy-hogs and green mythology behind.
Information is power! Quite literally in this case.
Written by Dave Jenkins – ESHP Owner/Designer