Myth #2 – Green Building is More Expensive
If a builder tells you it cost more…you have the wrong builder!
While it is true that any time you work to improve quality of a home there is an expense to it, that is not always true with green building. We have found that as we work to implement green building techniques that some of them actually save money.
For instance, we typically look to stack our plumbing (called a compact plumbing design) to reduce the amount of hot water that turns cold in pipes and ultimately gets sent down the sewer. By designing a home in such a way that the plumbing is stacked, you have less materials (piping) and labor to install the same number of bathrooms, kitchen, etc as you do when the pipes are spread out all over the house. On top of that, you are paying the City for the clean domestic water and then paying the City a second time when the clean unused domestic water, which turned cold in the pipes, goes down the sewer drain. Water that is heated and unused in the pipes is a waste of energy too.
Another example is our drawings always include detailed framing plans. I refuse to pay my CAD person any more to supply these sheets. From these sheets we do our own material take-offs allowing us to calculate the exact number and size of dimensional lumber needed to build the house. We typically order the wood to the site on a floor by floor basis and we always order a little short. We explain to the framing sub-contractor that if they run out of wood, they have to pay for it because the proper amount has been supplied. Funny thing, they always manage to make it work with nearly no scrap. The result…we don’t end up with a dumpster full of new dimensional lumber scraps. We save money on the dimensional lumber package AND dumpsters. In fact, we don’t even order out a dumpster until after the framing is done.
This is just a few of the many-many examples I could share on how to save money implementing green building techniques. What we found is that as we focus on implementing green building we saved money in some places and spent money in others, the result of which is only a slightly more expensive home.
In all cases we have been able to meet the customer’s budget and achieve greener homes. Bottom line, building green doesn’t mean it has to cost more.