Calculating Built Green January 2008
Owner Builder Newsletter
How do we calculate the costs to build green?

Green Builder magazine recently reported on a study by The World Business Council on Sustainable Development, revealing that the real costs of following a building green approach may acutally be less than what consumers are being charged! 
It seems construction professionals estimate the costs of building green are 17% more than traditional construction--a figure dramatically higher than the actual "green" costs of 5%.
The problem seems to be that, when considering building green, the construction process is too fragemented causing errors in choosing products and services.  In other words, what's lacking is a systems-based approach by professionals to building green practices in residential construction.
This issue of the Owner Builder Newsletter is dedicated to three resources that may be helpful to consumers for taking a systems view of building green.

EcoCalculatorHere's a free tool that lets consumers measure the  environmental impact of a building over its life cyle.  Building a sustainable structure involves numerous trade-offs.  We need to be aware of these trade-offs, and use materials to their best advantage in specific situations.

This is just what the EcoCalculator does: calculates a building's eco-impact. 
Funded by the
Green Building Initiative, the free tool was created to make it easy to generate environmental performance relative to a building's assemblies.
Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings - 9th Edition

The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is a one-stop resource for consumers who want to improve their home's energy performance and reduce costs. Zeroing in on the most useful response can be a challenge-this 9th edition guide cuts through the confusion.
Well-organized and highly readable,  begins with an overview of the inter-relationships between energy use, economics and the environment. Chapters focus on specific areas in the home, such as electronics, lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, kitchen and laundry.
Remodeling Cost vs Value Report 2007
Many consumers are discovering the inconvenient truth that their recent home improvement or remodeling project was just too expensive, especially when it came time to resell their house and recoup their construction costs.
Data from Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report show that remodeling projects are recouping less of their original building costs. 
Before proceeding with home building upgrades, be sure to checkout Remodeling Magazine's 2007 Report on Cost vs. Value to make sure you're not over-improving your home.