As it has a lot of benefits to offer, the awareness about sustainable house floor plan is increasing. Owners, operators and occupants can reap many financial rewards throughout the lifespan of a structure. Sustainable tiny houses have lower operating expenses such as water, energy, maintenance and repair. In addition to these savings, the first costs are also pretty low.
Sustainable development makes use of sustainable equipment and materials and integrated design to develop a functional structure with minimum effects on the environment. While it is true that in some cases, you have to bear higher first costs for some sustainable design features, however, as compared to a traditional structure, a sustainable house saves more money during its lifespan.
In addition to these visible economic benefits, this type of development provides you with a lot of indirect economic benefits. For example, the features of a sustainable house floor plan can promote the well-being, health, comfort and productivity of the people living there. This can reduce absenteeism levels. If it is a commercial structure, this type of development can reduce a lot of risks, improves your ability to attract new employees, longer building lifetime and more. Due to a better structure, you have to deal with minimum complaints.
Lower First Costs
The concept of a sustainable house floor plan starts with the formation of a design team. This team consists of architects, engineers, landscape designers and owners. The goal of forming this team is to create an “integrated” design. This “integrated” design should be an innovative solution that meets your environmental, energy and social goals and, at the same time, keeping the cost low.
The team uses its collective analytical capability to create strategies for sustainable development. This can increase the first cost. For example, improvements in the building envelope can increase the cost. However, this can help in downsizing your HVAC, heating and ventilation system. So, in the long run, you will save more money.
Building sustainable homes help in eliminating many unnecessary features and expensive finishes. In addition to meeting your environmental goals, these features can also reduce operating costs.
Moreover, in the majority of case studies, it has been found that even with costly sustainable house features, the overall cost does not exceed the planned budget.
Following are the different ways sustainable development can reduce the first cost:
- Optimized site and orientation
- Using recycled materials and reusing/renovating older structures
- Reduced project size
- Elimination of unnecessary features and finishes
- Avoiding construction waste and structural overdesign
- Using fully explored integrated design that includes optimization of the energy system and other systems
- Utilizing construction waste management approaches
- Decreasing site infrastructure
- Using concrete with fly ash or slag content
- Using carpet with recycled content
- Using recycled paint and low-emitting paint
- Using certified wood products
- Using no-water urinals
If you implement these sustainable house features during the construction of your house, office or industrial plant, you can reduce the first cost.
Experts have actually constructed a prototype building and found that you can save up to $2.60/ft2. The overall cost of construction can be reduced by up to 2%. In another case study, it has been found that reducing the size of the project and using integrated design principles can reduce first costs.
However, when you are working on your sustainable house floor plan, don’t just focus on creating a strategy that can lower the first cost only. Keep the long-term benefits in mind while creating your strategies. The costs of some tiny house sustainable features can be high. However, lifecycle costs can be significantly reduced.
There are many other sustainable house features that can reduce operational costs of the structure such as energy, water, repair and maintenance cost.