Sustainable Home Design

The Value & The Costs
of Sustainable Home Design

Home design and construction techniques are changing rapidly. Nowadays, It's completely doable to create a comfortable and beautiful new home that actually gives back to the environment more than it takes. However, each of those design decisions will ultimately effect both the up-front building costs and the longterm expenses of the home. Scroll down to learn more about many of the sustainable home design decisions that can have a huge impact.

Select One Below to Learn More…

Explanation of Passive Solar Strategy in Sustainable Home Design

Passive Solar Strategy

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Custom homes can be designed with overhangs that are calibrated to address the sun's path. In New York's climate, this concept will block direct sunlight in the summer months yet allow the low winter sun to naturally warm the home.

the value and cost of modular and prefabricated construction in sustainable modern home design

Modular & Prefab

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Modular or prefabricated homes are built in a factory and delivered to the site. This technique reduces waste, saves time, and adds cost certainty.

the value and cost of green roofs in sustainable modern home design

Green Roofs

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Recreating the displaced natural landscape generates many environmental and wellness benefits.

the value and cost of building materials (wood, steel and concrete) and their impact on the environment

Building Material

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New building materials account for roughly 11% of total global emissions. One of the most dramatic ways to disrupt these statistics is to create home’s that minimize or eliminate their need for destructive building materials.

the value and cost of using renewable lumber in sustainable modern home construction

Renewable Lumber

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Sustainably grown wood can capture and store carbon which ultimately nets a positive impact on the planet. However, this requires that every stage of the process utilizes responsible and deliberate forestry practices.

the value and cost of sustainable surface materials in modern home design

Surface Materials

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Whether it's used for interior flooring, exterior facades, or anything in between, there are a number of sustainable finish materials that will bring character to your home without being destructive to the environment in the process.

the value and cost of geothermal heating and cooling in sustainable modern home design

Geothermal Heating
& Cooling

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In the Northeast, the temperature underground remains 55 degrees year-round. Geothermal systems take advantage of this natural phenomenon by pumping water through subterranean pipes to heat the home in winter and cool it in the summer.

the value and cost of air tightness in sustainable modern home design

Air Tightness

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Unwanted gaps in a home's construction allow airflow that wastes energy from heating and cooling systems, causes moisture issues and can let pollutants into the home.

the value and cost of avoiding thermal bridge in sustainable home design

No Thermal Bridge

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Thermal bridging is when heat moves through a material that is more conductive than the others around it. This can be a major source of energy loss and increase a home's utility bills.

the value and cost of energy efficient appliances in sustainable modern home design

Energy Efficient

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Choosing energy efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers and more helps reduce daily energy consumption.

The Value and Costs of energy efficient windows in sustainable modern architecture

Energy Efficient

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Simply put, energy-efficient windows will help keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Particularly in New York's changing seasons, these windows will significantly reduce energy bills. But, be warned, they're not cheap!

architecture animation showing the sustainabile benefits of automatic shades

Shades or Blinds

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Window shade systems can be programmed to raise and lower automatically based on the home's temperature or time of day/year

the value and cost of smart thermostats in sustainable modern home design

Smart Thermostats

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Smart thermostats can be used to learn your living habits and only pull energy for heating and cooling when it's really needed.

the value and cost of landscap eefficiencies in sustainable modern home design

Landscape Efficiencies

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Deciduous trees will block direct sunlight in the warmer seasons but, when the leaves fall in the colder months, they will allow the sunlight to pass through and heat the home naturally.

the value and cost of solar panels in sustainable modern home design

Solar Power

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While the initial investment in solar power is quite costly, the long-term savings far outweigh the cost. A home that is well-designed to maximize the panels' exposure to sunlight can significantly reduce the time it takes to pay off the initial investment.

the value and cost of a fully insulated building envelope in sustainable home design

Fully Insulated Envelope

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A home that is closed off with a fully insulated shell will significantly reduce energy loss and therefore lead to significant cost savings over time.

Explanation of Natural Ventilation in Sustainable Home Architecture & Design

Natural Ventilation

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Homes can be designed to be cooled by simply opening windows or doors. Designs that address cross ventilation and stack effect ventilation can significantly reduce a home's energy consumption with minimal impact on construction costs.

Explanation of ERV Systems in Sustainable Home Architecture & Design

ERV Systems

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Air exchange systems that balance indoor and outdoor air to create safe, comfortable interiors without intense demands on energy consumption.

How Does this Effect
Construction Costs?

TIER 01:


We estimate this level of construction to cost roughly 5% less than our environmentally conscious designs. NONE of the design decisions explained below will be included in today's standard building methods. However, many of them are things that our studio is unwilling to sacrifice in our architecture & interiors. Explore below to learn why.

TIER 02:


This tier of design is our firm’s baseline. The majority of the design decisions below will be studied or included in our environmentally conscious homes. We believe that the impact these have on our environment and the lives of our homeowners are profoundly important. Therefore, we are unwilling to sacrifice these choices to save on up-front building costs.

TIER 03:

Passive Home /
Green Build.

Passive Home design is the highest tier of sustainable design and building. Because of the costs or intricacies of construction, the items labeled in yellow below will ONLY be included in a passive home design. We estimate that today's construction costs for this tier to be roughly 10% more than our environmentally conscious homes.


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