We're getting closer! Last week we got our project proposal from Structures and the energy projections were amazing. The proposal suggests our Passive House will perform at an 88% heating and cooling efficiency which will result in an 73% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as compared to standard construction.
While the energy savings and reduction in carbon emissions are huge, the project costs are minimal. Its estimated that we'll be spending approximately 9% more for passive house construction.
We've reviewed the project estimates and submitted some minor changes to Adam and Rob, i.e. siding, flooring, etc. Once we have a final price for construction, we'll start shopping for a loan. The real challenge will be the appraisal. Since Passive House construction is relatively new to the US market and our home will be the first passive house in Southern VA, we'll need to educate the appraisers to justify the 9% increase in construction costs. Regardless of the outcome after the initial appraisal we're prepared to pay the extra 9% upfront because our Passive House will start paying us back immediately.
Adam is looking into having our home rated on its energy performance if Passive House Certification isn't enough to justify its efficiency. In the US, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) provides a measurement of a home's energy efficiency. An energy rating for new homes will allow buyers to compare the energy efficiency of homes they are considering buying. While HERS has not been formally adopted in VA, other states in the northeast as well as California and Florida have incorporated programs to require energy ratings for new construction.