High Performance Home Cost Shifting

| by David Morris
High Performance Home Cost Shifting

Building a high performance home sometimes calls for greater investment certain parts of the home, such as the wall assembly. Spending a little extra for a higher level of insulation and air sealing will pay off over the life of the house.

Creating a high-performance building envelope with insulated concrete forms allows other costs to be shifted elsewhere.

For instance, the builder of an ICF home told me that the HVAC requirement was about half of a traditional home. So he could install a 4-ton HVAC unit instead of an 8-ton one, saving about $1,200. That money could go to pay for additional costs for the wall assembly, other green building steps, or even high-end finishes for flooring or cabinets.

When a builder views the entire house as a system, it gets easier to make those trade offs. Investment in ICF construction allows the builder to shift costs for HVAC, housewrap, insulation and other materials into other aspects of the home.

In fact, the lower operating cost of high performance home can help a builder provide more amenities and finishes that buyers love. Builders think that homebuyers would rather pay for granite countertops than invest in insulation or ventilation or water-saving pumps. In reality, the buyer can have both.

In a high performance home the lower energy costs deliver lower total cost of ownership. If a home has utility bills that will be $300 less than average, a buyer can finance almost $100,000 more house, for the same monthly outlay of principle, interest insurance, taxes and energy.

Plus, with an ICF home there is long-term operational cost savings due to the enhanced energy efficiency. So with ICFs builders can give homeowners a home that performs better and saves money over the long term with little to zero extra cost.

This blog was developed by Fox Blocks. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.

Topics: Building Green, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF

Companies: Fox Blocks

David Morris
A Detroit native, David T. Morris, LEED® Green Associate, used his drive for entrepreneurship, innovation & new product development to develop a patented product and later took a new building product to market. In 2012, he became U.S. East Regional Manager with Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Company, managing ICF sales in seven states. Since 2006, David has delivered more than 140 IFA/ICF training seminars to contractors, plus another 120 presentations to architects and engineers. He is a featured speaker and SME on High-Performance Buildings, and his efforts have resulted in environmentally friendly construction being specified for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings throughout the country.

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