Frequently we get a questions or comments about the cost of sustainable construction. Questions center around the perception that the construction or remodeling are excessive over traditional construction. The comments are usually concerning the return on investment (ROI) of a project – meaning the money you put in needs to “pay off” within a period of time that one lives in their home.
Here’s the thing… both concepts need to be examined.
A public opinion survey found that those that answered the survey believed the average cost to build sustainability to be 17% above traditional construction. However, the same study found the “actual average marginal cost of less than 2%”.
The question of ROI is often one of the first things brought up as a factor for some people considering building or renovations. “The most efficient way to analyze the financial benefits would be to look at both the cost premium and the savings associated with that premium, for each feature of a green home”. While ROI can be measured, we encourage folks to think of their homes as a whole system.
Picture a house surrounded by a balloon. If you poke holes in the balloon you’re left with a flat balloon. Each system contributes to the efficiency of the home. By creating the balloon and a tight home envelope, the other systems within the balloon can be optimized – saving money and resources.
Talk to us about your vision and let us help design your best shade of green.
As a continued testing site, we are always looking for things to explore. A technology that has been around for years (and was seldom used properly) is programmable thermostats.
Programmable thermostats save money by saving the energy you use at home. I have always programmed my thermostats to be more cost effective when I’m away for the day or on vacation. Whether it’s to turn down the heat (to 58 during the winter) or turn up the a/c during the summer (to 85 as long as the cats are not in the house…if they are, 78 seems more reasonable). A 7-day thermostat would allow me to program each day of the week separately. I would adjust the temperature just before I was to be awake, and again at bedtime with two more adjustments for my family’s work/school schedule and returning from same. Some problems with all that programming is 1) it takes time, and 2) it doesn’t adjust for when someone stays home. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a big improvement over the old mercury thermostats which are neither programmable nor safe. If you still have a mercury thermostat, please consider alternatives — not only for your safety, but because bringing your technology into the 1990s could save you hundreds of Benjamins.
Welcome now to the world of smart thermostats….and the current century.
We’ve tested both the Lyric and the Nest and essentially they both work the same. They are smart, meaning they “learn” your habits – like when you play hookie from work on Thursday nights to watch college ball – and can be controlled remotely since they are wifi based. These T-stats look great, are easy to install, and are actually easier to program than the old “programmable” thermostats. We like they look of the Lyric because it blends well with our decor, but the newer profile on the nest makes the cosmetic comparisons a wash.
Click HERE for a great CNET summary review of some fantastic options.
Winter is coming, my friend. Make your investment in a smart thermostat and you’ll be the one smarter (and richer) for it.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Our clients were interviewed and highlighted in WestportNow.com for their efforts to remodel sustainably. We’re honored to redesign their home to add the green features they want, yet with modern technology – making a classic home new again.
Read it HERE