Environmental Costs

The cost of going green

Q - I've been reading about sustainable construction and would like to incorporate some features in to our new house that we hope to build next year. Could you give me a list of possible items that we could consider?

A - Here are a few subjects that are worth thinking about and you can find out more about them if you enter them into Google. Ground source heat pumps, geothermal heating, condensing boiler, sun pipes, rainwater harvesting, wind turbine generation, and solar water heating.

Environmental Roofing

Q - We would like our new house to be eco-friendly and would like to know the approximate cost of having a ‘green roof'. Can you advise us?

A - There are two categories of green roof. The ‘Extensive' type can be used for  leisure and recreational purposes and costs about £100 per square metre. The ‘Intensive' type is for appearance only and costs between £75 and £80 per square metre.

Environmental Building

Q - In playing our part in the global warming campaign, we are considering laying red cedar shingles on our roof and external walls in our new house. What are the cost implications of doing this?

A - Shingles should cost about £70 per square metre for the roof compared to £50 for clay tiles and £85 for slates. For the walls, add £65 per square metre for an outer leaf of facing brickwork costing £450 per thousand.

Solar Heating

Q - We are planning our new home and wonder what it would cost to install a solar heating system.

A - You should approach specialist firms for advice on the cost of solar panels but standard domestic installations seem to cost between £8,000 and £12,000. But remember the Feed-in Tariff system (FiT) came into operation in UK in April 2010 and householders producing electricity from green sources can receive 41.3p per unit of power produced for a guaranteed period of 25 years provided that the system is installed by an accredited contractor. So apart from reducing your own fuel costs you can earn money from the system!

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