Ecohouses are those houses which are constructed in accordance with sustainable development principles. Using renewable resources and techniques, ecohousing is building green.
Why build green?
Over and above a desire to leave a better planet to your children and grandchildren, there is a very good financial reason to build ecohousing. It is quite simply to keep your heating and cooling utility bills from devouring a larger and larger percentage of your retirement income.
No one doubts that utility bills will continue to go up, up and up–out of proportion to rising wages and certainly out of proportion to a relatively set retirement income..
So what happens when your utilities go up. You have four choices:
1. Keep paying higher bills. You allow utilities to consume a larger and larger portion of your income.
2. Remodel this home you recently built. It is not only very expensive to remodel a home, though, it is very rarely as effective as using sustainable building principles from the beginning.
3. Sell this home and buy another one. That defeats the purpose of buying into a senior cohousing community for the friendships and emotional support found there.
4. Grin and bear it. Be cold in winter and/or hot in summer because you just can’t afford to do anything else.
How much does ecohousing cost?
It really costs very little, if any, more money to build green. Jim Sargent has been building green since 1985 and knows what he is doing in the green building arena. Sargent, 2006 national Builder of the Year for the Energy Value Housing Awards, says green building is only a matter of understanding and following green building science and having the passion and patience to see that it is implemented.
It is very important for seniors to keep searching until they find a builder who understands the concept of ecohousing and has the experience to build a green home without overcharging for it.
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