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Buildings  2013 

Energy-Efficient Technologies and the Building’s Saleable Floor Area: Bust or Boost for Highly-Efficient Green Construction?

DOI: 10.3390/buildings3030570

Keywords: energy-efficiency, profitability, construction cost, green residential building, low energy building

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Abstract:

When the external measurements of a building are fixed, an increase in external wall thickness caused by additional insulation, for example, will lead to loss of saleable floor area. This issue has to be taken into account in the evaluation of investment profitability. This paper examines how technologies used in energy-efficient residential building construction affect the available saleable floor area and how this impacts profitability of investment. Using a modeled building and an analysis of the average construction cost, we assessed losses and gains of saleable floor area in energy-efficient buildings. The analysis shows that the impact of potential losses or gains of saleable floor area should be taken into account when comparing investment alternatives: building energy-efficient green dwellings or building conventional ones. The results indicate that constructing energy-efficient buildings and introducing very energy-efficient technologies may be energy- and cost-effective even compared with conventional buildings. Employing new products in energy-efficient construction allows benefit to be drawn from lower energy consumption during the life cycle of the building, but also from the increase in saleable floor area.

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