Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Green for the Environment and Green for the Pocketbook: A Decade of Living Sustainably

Version 1 : Received: 2 February 2020 / Approved: 3 February 2020 / Online: 3 February 2020 (03:04:44 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


The question of building sustainable in a geographical locality is inexorably linked to cost. In 2011, one of the authors built a sustainable house that was (at the time) the highest certified sustainable home based on the National Association of Home Builder’s standards for sustainable construction. This Texas house has been used for residential and research purposes for the past decade. In this case study, the authors evaluate components of the construction and their effectiveness as well as unseen secondary and tertiary effects. Some of the specific components discussed are home site placement; rainwater harvesting (100% of residential requirements); aerobic septic system; grid-tied solar array power; electric car charging; geothermal heating and cooling; reclaimed wood framing; spray foam installation; selection of windows, fixtures, and appliances; on-demand electric water heaters for guest areas; generator backups; and use of local items. Electric bills and water system improvements are discussed in detail, as improvements were made as part of residential and research requirements. This case study suggests that the financial outlay is worth the extra up-front costs if residents in this geographical area and climate will occupy the residence 7 years.


construction; rainwater harvesting; solar; spray foam; finger-jointed studs


Engineering, Architecture, Building and Construction

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