Save money (and the planet!) with sustainable building

If you're getting ready to start a reno, addition, or new build project, building sustainability might not be at the top of your checklist. You have a lot of other things to think about and this might seem like just another thing that'll stress you out!

But sustainable design is such a great choice for many reasons. Not only is the end result better for you, your family, and the planet, but its actually better for your bottom line as well. Building green doesn't have to cost more, its all about the difference in lifecycle costing.

OPTIMIZE BUILDING SPACE AND MATERIALS

Part of sustainable building is about consuming less material and avoiding the use of virgin materials, like "reduce, reuse, recycle". This is connected to the idea that highly functional and well-designed spaces can allow us to build smaller.

Smaller building = less consumption.

Some people feel comfortable in a 400 sf space. That's too small for some people. But in North America, people definitely tend towards the idea that bigger is better. But cutting down on building footprint size and square footage will save you construction material and labour costs, operating costs (heat/hydro/taxes), and its a more eco-friendly way of living. And if the space is designed properly, you won't feel like you're living in "cramped" and "crowded" conditions.

You'll feel comfortable, organized, and you'll have less space to clean!

Check out this compact home design concept we created --

OPTIMIZE ENERGY

Energy use is always an important consideration for sustainable building, but its also a major area to consider if you want a more comfortable home that costs less to operate. Doing more advanced framing and insulation, including high-efficiency window and doors, can save you around 80% off your heating and cooling costs. That's a lot eh?

Why wouldn't you do the construction properly while you're doing your reno anyway and save money in the long run? The additional costs of material and labour for the improved framing and insulation might run around an added 10% of your overall construction costs. But this is where you need to look at upfront/initial costs compared to operational costs. A bit more cash upfront can save you way more in the long term.

And of course using less energy is a great thing for the planet! As concerns about climate change continue to grow and the impacts are thought to be worse than previously expected (yes, climate change is a real thing!), it seems more urgent than ever to reduce our impacts.

Take a look at this really interesting article on new climate change data published by National Geographic --