How much will it cost to build your energy efficient and sustainable home does depend on a lot of factors. If you are building a home on a budget size does matter. Simply put, the larger your home is the more it will cost. The more features you want the more it will cost. The bigger the house the more materials and labour is needed, the more money you have to spend.
If you do want to build an affordable home you kind of have to pick and choose certain features and finishes for your home, depending on how much money you have available. Not everything in your house can be a feature.
One of the first steps should be to really think hard what it is that you really need. Think about clever use of space and multi-functional spaces. And you also need a designer/architect that can design a beautiful compact home that will feel bright, open, and spacious, without being huge. Avoiding and minimising corridors and walkways is a key.
The main focus is on the performance of your home. It needs to be well insulated. It needs high performing windows. Thermal bridges and air-leakage need to be minimised. Ideally the house should have some thermal mass. And the house should have good solar access. But that is it. The actual roof form or the wall cladding/wall finishes are up to your personal taste.
I personally am a huge fan of SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) and use them on a lot on our projects.
These highly insulated prefabricated panels are load bearing and can be used for exterior walls, roofs, floors and also internal walls.
The panels are also lightweight, which means less money spent on footings, no heavy machinery is required and setting them up is fast. In fact, a complete house can be up to lock up stage within days.
Although the product itself is more expensive than a standard stud wall construction, the construction is so fast that actual labour cost is minimal. So, in the end, the construction costs about the same as if you would build it the standard way. But you have the added benefit of a much faster construction, which might save you on interest rates and/or rental expenses.
By using those big prefabricated sips panels, it gets relatively easy to create air-tight homes, as you only have to seal the joints of the panels.
In my experience this way of construction is the most affordable way to build a highly energy efficient and air tight home.
More than happy to tell you more about it, just give us a call or send us an email.