Does a green building cost more?
There are many different levels of green building and associated costs. Simple, passive solutions are orienting a new building so it allows the sun to heat it in the winter while blocking the sun to stay cool in summer. A cost-effective green remodel technique is adding insulation to the ceiling, creating heating and cooling savings. Solutions that cost more up front–but save money over time–may include the installation of photovoltaics for solar electricity or a geothermal heat pump.
We assist in keeping costs down by notifying clients of available rebates and tax incentives.
Can I afford to work with Hubbell & Hubbell?
We strongly feel that good architecture and design should be available to everyone, not just high-net-worth individuals. For this reason, we enjoy working on affordable designs ranging from residential remodels to large churches.
Of course, we also enjoy designing a new custom residence to fit on a gorgeous site; and we love creating structures for public use, allowing more people to experience our work.
We recognize that every project needs to work within a budget, regardless of the size of the client’s bank account. So we work closely with our clients to balance the program, budget, and timeline throughout the process.
We often design with alternative building materials that help reduce construction costs and create energy savings over the life of the building.
What do you mean by “passive design”?
We believe that the best designs work with nature and blend into the surrounding environment. We consider the topography, views, sun angles, and breezes in our analysis of the site. Our team strives to create comfortable buildings that “perform well and feel good”—buildings where mechanical systems, water, and electricity use are reduced by designing passive systems that allow the sun to help heat and light the space, shade to cool, and breezes to ventilate and cool.
This is where working with an experienced architect can help you save money, energy, and resources over time by building passive strategies into the design of your home. It is also one reason we like to meet with owners and contractors to review the plans before construction, so everyone understands why certain design choices were made.
(For example, when building designs that include clerestory windows, it’s important for your contractor to install some operable windows to allow passive cooling and ventilation strategies to work. True, inoperable windows will give you great light and cost less up front, but the window choice will cost your more money over time in cooling and energy costs.)
Do you have any LEED projects, or LEED-certified members on staff?
We have been involved with LEED projects for many years and have been members of the USGBC since 2003. We currently have a LEED Accredited Professional in our office and we also consult with LEED specialty firms for administering LEED projects.
Even though we are very familiar with LEED, we typically use green building principles rather than the USGBC’s LEED checklist to design our projects. When our projects are rated through LEED they still manage to rank quite highly. Recently one of our projects, the Farrar Green Home, received LEED Platinum ranking, the highest ranking available.