Green Home Builders in Raleigh
What does it cost to build a Green Home in the Raleigh/Triangle area?
Answer - It depends!
That really depends on what is put into a Green Home. Just because two homes are green built, doesn't mean they're built the same. Some might have solar panels and full underground rainwater collection systems. Some might have other features, like WaterSense faucets, high performance windows, and Energy Star applicances.
To get an idea of price per square foot for Green Homes, I've put together a little information on green homes featured in the 2010 Triangle Green Home Tour.
Here's a chart of all the homes in the tour that have asking prices. Some homes were sold before the Green Home Tour or are otherwise unavailable, so not every home in the Tour is included.
Ok - that's a lot of numbers. It might help to look at some averages.
The Green Homes Tour showcases green homes in the Raleigh/Triangle area with an average price of $465,263.
That's about $148 per square foot for a Green Certified Home that is an average of 3135 square feet.
How does this compare to other Green Home Tours?
In the past two years, the average size of a Green Certified Home on the Green Home Tour has shrunk by about 209 sq ft.
The average sales price has dropped by over $120,000.
This represents some of the market trends we're seeing, where the focus is on smaller, more affordable homes, with great features but also the opportunity to add additional features over time, rather than up front.
But each of the Green Homes on the 2010 Green Home Tour contains different levels of Green characteristics. You'll notice that while most homes are listed at higher price points, there are a few homes on the tour that are available in the lower price points. Those at the very lowest price point homes do not have garages, and some are in special communities.
If your idea of a Green Home is one that includes a solar array, with an underground rainwater system, bamboo flooring, solar water heater, and sustainably harvested or recycled products throughout the home - you'll be able to find a home like that. But it will probably be at the upper end of the spectrum in price.
Here's an idea of the basic qualifications for the National Home Builder's Association Model Green Home Building Guidelines:
- Lot Preparation and Design - Planned reduced impact on soil and vegetation.
- Resource Efficiency - advanced framing techniques, optimal use of building materials, and construction waste management, along with careful material selection.
- Energy Efficiency - This could mean Energy Star certification. HVAC systems, appliances and lighting are chosen to increase energy efficiency.
- Water Efficiency/Conservation - Can include low water toilets and showerheads, rainwater barrels, water collection systems, or low-water landscaping choices.
- Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality - Effective management of moisture, ventilation, and other issues.
- Operation, Maintenance and Education- Green Home builders can give guidance on to optimally manage and maintain their new green home.
"Greenness" is measured by a point-based system. The builder, homeowner, or developer choose the initiatives they want to follow.
There are 7 areas of focus, with over 150 different initiatives. Minimum point levels must be obtained under each of the seven areas of focus, which should help keep a healthy balance. All supporting documentation is submitted to an independent 3rd party auditor, who verifies the Green Home through site visits and document review.
What does it cost to build a Green Home in the Raleigh area?
It depends on exactly what green features you want to include, how many square feet you want, whether you want a basement or not, and other variables, including cost of land, size of lot, and amount of landscaping.
There are plenty of options - and your builder will be able to work with you to determine what the best choices for you are.
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