Does it Cost Much to Build an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable House?


Constructing your house from the ground up is an exciting but scary concept. Each house construction requires meticulous budgeting and planning to save time, resources, and wellbeing. These aspects are more fundamental, especially if you’re looking to construct a green home, as the Materials Market and eco-housing industry are filled with continuous innovation.

Therefore, we’ve prepared information to let you know how much it can cost to construct a sustainable house. We’ll also provide some tips on how to build one. Read on to discover more.

What is a Sustainable House?

“Sustainable” is a term that often gets thrown around that it’s become a staple in the green-washing marketing campaigns of various brands. In this context, a sustainable house is constructed to decrease negative environmental impacts caused by construction and during the home’s lifespan.

Characteristics of a Sustainable House

A sustainable house is:

  • Environmentally sustainable. These buildings are designed to decrease their environmental footprint. They achieve that by saving water and energy, reducing waste, and minimizing greenhouse emissions.
  • Economically sustainable. It’s vital to concentrate on converting environmentally friendly housing into cost-efficient housing to continue thriving as a species. Therefore, ultra careful planning and budgeting are needed to reduce construction costs and future renovations.
  • Socially sustainable. For a house to be sustainable, it needs to accommodate people with limited mobility more. It’s designed and constructed to prevent injuries and enhance the occupants’ sense of security.

Essentially, a sustainable home should be constructed with materials that can’t harm the environment, durable, flexible, energy-efficient, and cost-efficient to run in the long run. When you achieve these objectives, you can enjoy many benefits such as reduced energy costs, minimal ecological footprint, and a house designed to meet your family’s ever-changing needs.


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How Much Does It Cost to Build an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable House?

Many often overestimate the overall cost of constructing a sustainable house, especially compared to standard housing. According to a report released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, many people assumed that eco-friendly housing features increased the total construction costs by 17%. Yet, in reality, it adds less than 2%.

Here is what contributes to the overall construction cost:

  • Building costs – 61%
  • Finished lot costs – 18.5%
  • Builder profits – 9.1%
  • General and overhead expenses – 4.9%
  • Sales commission – 3.7%
  • Financing and marketing costs – 2.7%

Therefore, you need to calculate all the costs – construction costs, general & overhead expenses, and finished lot and builder costs = to determine the total cost of building your house, as they contribute 94% of the overall sale price.

A Breakdown of the Cost of Constructing a Sustainable House

The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report in 2019 showing that zero-energy housing is more feasible. It roughly costs around $240,000 to $260,000. A breakdown of these costs looks like this:

Interior finishes – 25.4%

The highest portion of your construction budget will be spent on setting up your house’s interior. This stage includes insulation, flooring, lighting, etc. It’s best to choose eco-friendly options like recycled insulation or air sealing technology, sustainably certified timber, energy-saving home appliances, and the like.

Framing – 17.4%

Framing includes sheathing, roof, and general steel and metal. Choose durable roofing options like metal roofs.

Major system rough-ins – 14.7%

Think of using solar panels, low-flow plumbing systems, rainwater harvesting systems, etc. These products will benefit you and your family in the long term.

Exterior finishes – 14.1%

Exterior finishes comprise roofing, doors, windows, et cetera. Consider installing sustainable roofing materials, insulated garage doors, and triple-pane windows.

Foundations – 11.8%

This stage entails excavation, foundation, retaining walls, concrete, and backfill. To get a more energy-efficient and durable option, it’ll help to use efficient building materials such as an insulating slab foundation with a steel mesh to reinforce the concrete slab foundation.


Are you looking to construct an eco-friendly house? If so, you can approach this project in multiple ways. When building such a house, it is fundamental to plan and budget for it carefully. The post illustrates that creating a sustainable home is less costly than many think. Follow these tips to construct your eco-friendly and sustainable house efficiently.



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