Re: strategies to rein in escalating purchase prices
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 07:29:24 -0700 (PDT)
> On May 27, 2021, at 8:57 AM, Olaf Kula <kulaolaf1957 [at]> wrote:

> One  of the major cost drivers, appears to be
> our integration of passiv design,  which we hope will take us close to net
> zero energy use for heating and cooling.  One question is in finding more
> builders familiar with passiv architecture to bid on this contract.   The
> other is whether there are grants, lending concessions, or tax incentives,
> to offset the higher building costs.

Google search is one of the most wonderful things of modern life. I used to do 
research by going to a large research library and plowing through dozens of 
linear feet of index cards in cabinets as large as a fleet of bookshelves. And 
consulting annual directories to find associations and businesses. There are a 
million of these. And dictionaries to find obscure technical terms or decode a 
painting title in 11th century Latin.

Now I just Google everything. It takes some practice at figuring out what to 
search for but each search will suggest new keywords to use in the next search.

A search on "Passive House construction costs” brought up this article on the 
Zero Energy Project site on a house by architect, Richard Pedranti, who built a 
Passive House for $165 per square foot. In his area construction costs are 
normally $175-$200 for regular construction. 

Passive House Busts High Cost Myth

This article on the Professional Builder website by designer and builder 
Natalie Leonard has a point by point list of things that add to construction 
costs in Passive House design.

Can Building a Passive House Cost the Same as a Code-Built Home?

One tip is to build using locally available materials that tradespeople are 
familiar with and put them together in new ways to achieve Passive House 
performance. This step is critical to cost control. Importing materials, 
windows and mechanical systems from Europe is expensive, costly to install, and 
difficult to service in the future.

It is also possible to find a Passive House expert at a distance who will 
review your construction plans and suggest other strategies. This woman might 
be able to do that or to suggest someone who will. Maybe there is someone 
summers in Taos who knows Passive House techniques. 

Research is so easy these days. Most people in business now have a professional 
approach to email so you can contact them in a minute and get a lot of 
information or a referral.

Sharon Villines, Editor & Publisher
Affordable Housing means 30% of household income
Cohousing means self-developed, self-governed, self-managed

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