[permaculture] Green Building Costs

McFarlandAIA at aol.com McFarlandAIA at aol.com
Sat Jul 9 20:09:19 EDT 2005

Another item to consider when weighing costs for building sustainably is 
First Cost vs. Life Cycle Cost. A high first cost (for a ground source heat pump, 
for example) and comparing it to lower fuel costs for the life of the product, 
put green building costs in a whole different light. In my area, Texas Gulf 
Coast, a higher efficient building envelop, better lighting and air 
conditioning have been the norm for more than 5 years in commercial building. The life 
cycle costs make it a better buy for the long term owner. And the residential 
Austin Green Building Program, which I work with, weighs such features. The 
owner still seems to pay a premium for "alternative" products like rammed earth 
and compressed earth block, and particularly ICF's. But the payoff is huge. How 
do you factor in the cost in those cases?

Shawn McFarland, AIA, LEED AP

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