There’s definately a new trend in homebuilding emerging. Green.
Walking through opening day of the International Builder Show has shown a tremendous effort to provide eco-sustainable and eco-friendly living environments for more affordable prices. Traditionally this technology has been quite spendy (and relative to many main-stream non-eco-friendly options, current eco-friendly options are still a notch or two higher in price).
I have been a fan of a more responsible approach to the way we conduct our lives, and the adoption of new building standards and techniques to minimize waste and improve the quality of life, is win-win.
Some of my favorite “eco-booths” were the Honeywell Wind Turbine and the Eco-Cottages. The Honeywell Wind Turbine is designed to be a consumer grade wind tubine to help generate supplemental energy for your home. Despite other turbine models that need elevations of 60 feet and unmanagable wing-spans the Honewell Turbine is designed to perch on your rooftop or similar structure.
According to the manufacturer the turbine can produce up to 18% of an average household’s energy assuming there is an average of a class 3 wind (5-6 mph). The annual average wind speed in Spokane WA is 8.9 MPH, more than enough. According to some online retailers of these turbines, one can be acquird for as little as $6,000 (not including any retro-fitting to accomodate installation). The average cost savings to a home would be in the ball park of $20-$30/month (making a recoup on investment about 16 years assuming steady energy costs).
My next favorite, and definately the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while are the Eco-Cottages. These simple, compact and higly efficient dwellings are designed with panelized construction to minimize wast and are extremely efficient.
Entry costs for a studio unit are around $49,000 with installation being around $7,000. They also have some great, “off the grid” wilderness packages with solar and alternative energy and water resources. A great tool and a viable option for a lake or river home.
We’ll be spending some more time at the booth’s today looking at new (and old) ideas. There’s a chance we may integrate many of these into our upcoming building project…