By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
Homes constructed using passive design principles may soon grow in popularity, thanks to a recently debuted Habitat for Humanity home in Washington, D.C., that proved ultra energy efficient homes can be constructed at an affordable price.
The “net zero” home promises its home owners no heating or cooling bills, ever.
Passive homes follow some of the highest energy standards for slashing utility costs. These homes have lower energy consumption by being super-insulated and airtight. For example, the Habitat for Humanity home uses up to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a typical home.
And the price — unlike many other passive designed homes — is reasonable: $200,000, which fits the typical cost of a Habitat Humanity home in the Washington, D.C., area.
What’s more, the home owners stand to potentially save nearly $72,000 on energy costs over the course of their 30-year mortgage.
Passive homes, in general, usually are about 15 percent more expensive to construct due to special materials.