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.
Stegall, N.; Dzombak, D. Cost Implications of LEED Silver Certification for New House Residence Hall at Carnegie Mellon University. Senior Honors Research Project; Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2004. Available online: http://www.cmu.edu/environment/ campus-green-design/green-buildings/images/newhouse_report.pdf (accessed on 2 April 2013).
Schnieders, J.; Hermelink, A. CEPHEUS results: Measurements and occupants’ satisfaction provide evidence for passive houses being an option for sustainable building. Energy Policy 2006, 34, 151–171, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2004.08.049.
Matthiessen, L.; Morris, P. Cost of Green Revisited: Re-Examining the Feasibility and Cost Impact of Sustainable Design in the Light of Increased Market Adoption; Davis Langdon: New York, NY, USA, 2007.
Ott, W.; Baur, M.; Jakob, M. Direct and Indirect Additional Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Residential Buildings. publication 260001; Study by Econcept and CEPE ETH Zurich on Behalf of the Research Programme EWG (www.ewg-bfe.ch) of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy: Bern, Switzerland, 2006.
Salvi, M.; Horehajova, A.; Syz, J. Are Households Willing to Pay for Green Buildings? An Empirical Study of the Swiss Minergie Label. In Proceedings of the European Real Estate Society (ERES) Conference, Milan, Italy, 23–26 June 2010.
Bordass, B.; Cohen, R.; Standeven, M.; Leaman, A. Assessing building performance in use 2: Technical performance of the probe buildings. Build. Res. Inf. 2001, 29, 103–113, doi:10.1080/09613210010008027.
Boonekamp, P.G.M. Price elasticities, policy measures and actual developments in household energy consumption—A bottom up analysis for the Netherlands. Energy Econ. 2007, 29, 133–157, doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2005.09.010.
N？ssén, J.; Sprei, F.; Holmberg, J. Stagnating energy efficiency in the Swedish building sector—Economic and organisational explanations. Energy Policy 2008, 36, 3814–3822, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2008.07.018.
Krope, J.; Goricanec, D. Energy Efficiency and Thermal Envelope. In A Handbook of Sustainable Building Design and Engineering: An Integrated Approach to Energy, Health, and Operational Performance; Mumovic, D., Santamouris, M., Eds.; Earthscan: London, UK, 2009; pp. 23–34.
Mohammadpourkarbasi, H.; Sharples, S. The eco-refurbishment of a 19th century terraced house: Energy and cost performance for current and future UK climates. Buildings 2013, 3, 220–244, doi:10.3390/buildings3010220.
Kildsgaard, I.; Jarnehammar, A.; Widheden, A.; Wall, M. Energy and environmental performance of multi-story apartment buildings built in timber construction using passive house principles. Buildings 2013, 3, 258–277, doi:10.3390/buildings3010258.
Zalejska-Jonsson, A. Value of Environmental Factors and Willingness to Pay for Green Apartments in Sweden; Working Paper Series, No. 13/1; Department of Real Estate and Construction Management & Centre for Banking and Finance (cefin), Royal Institute of Technology: Stockholm, Sweden, 2013.