Green building costs more than conventional building if you just take the same house and add stuff to it, what Philadelphia builder Nic Darling calls "polishing the turd.". To build green affordably, you have to make choices, you have to pick your priorities. That is what's so interesting about the new model home from Sunia Homes, in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
The interior of the home is absolutely basic and minimalist, with simple detailing and none of the fancy cabinetry that you find in a typical builders house. Yet it comes standard with rainwater harvesting, grey water management, energy monitoring, FSC certified flooring and a bit of solar photovoltaics.
The whole house, without land and a few incidentals, comes in at $ 150 per square foot, which is low in California. And that includes architectural and engineering fees and project management.
I think that it is a choice that a lot of people would make: simple, compact designs with well thought out basics instead of marble counters
and closets that you can party in. It is not just slapping a solar panel on the same old.