GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

How many people e-mailed you the Times article today?

Dan Kolbert | Posted in PassivHaus on

I’m up to 3 so far and the night is young.

In case you haven’t seen it –

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Interested Onlooker | | #1

    It's a fascinating article with all that needs be said lurking at the very end. $550k for 2000sf.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    My reaction exactly. We need more smart builders to provide examples of inexpensive superinsulated homes.

    I'm sure that Robert R. will show up soon to tout his own favorite low-cost techniques.

    One thing I know -- $275/square foot solutions won't solve any of our current climate-change or peak-oil problems.

  3. Jesse Thompson | | #3

    At the same time, it's probably the least expensive home per SF that the New York Times has run a feature on in the last year...

    $275 / FT would be bargain basement in the Hamptons.

  4. Riversong | | #4

    No, I wasn't planning to "tout" anything. But I had been considering noting that nobody would send me such an article because of my clear public position on the excesses of the PH approach, not to mention my abhorrence of high-priced extravagance.

  5. mike eliason | | #5

    8. mostly relatives.

    the $550 number includes an enormously high sitework figure. it also includes arch fees, which aren't normally put forth as part of the budget.

    $110,000 in finishes is no small sum, either.

  6. Confused | | #6

    "It also includes arch fees, which aren't normally put forth as part of the budget."

    Surely the budget for any project is what the client is prepared to spend on it?

    All in.

    Or is it because architects are a profession rather than a mere trade that they get to add their fees on top?

  7. Riversong | | #7


    Do you know the difference between an architect and God? God doesn't think he's an architect!

    Of course, total project costs include all design and permitting fees as well as site work and construction.

    This project price includes $40,000 for design services.

    Interesting. The first super-insulated house I designed and built for clients cost $40,000 plus $8,000 site work (that included all design fees).

  8. James Morgan | | #8

    Total project cost = construction cost + design fees + land or property purchase price. It's quite common to account for them separately. The article didn't specify but it hardly seems likely that the 550K included the purchase price of the original rowhouse. So total project cost is unknown, but considerably more than $275/s.f.

  9. Jesse Thompson | | #9

    Except we now know that it's a 2,700 SF house as measured by the German real estate standard (TFA in PH speak), which measures to inside face of (thick) exterior walls, does not count staircases, interior partitions or columns and discounts storage rooms and basements by about half. It's most likely over 3,000 SF as measured by a US real estate agent.

    Which changes that $ / SF calculation yet again...

  10. Riversong | | #10

    Hah! Those Euros get their measurements confused because they use millimeters instead of common sense inches and feet ;-)

    And we 'Mericans know that the size and value of a house is what the neighbor's see from the outside and not what space the owners have on the inside.

  11. Confused | | #11

    BTW for all you 'Mericans out there, The Times is printed in London. The newspaper which ran the article is called the New York Times. ;o)

  12. Riversong | | #12

    To us 'Mericans, the Times of London is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and he's a naturalized 'Merican and the Fox in the henhouse.

    The Times is the NY Times, which Murdoch don't own.

  13. James Morgan | | #13

    Oops! my earlier post confused this thread with that on the rowhouse makeover. Clearly I'm spending too much time on GBA.

    Jesse's point is well taken, on the parallel GBA thread on this project I figured that a US equivalent based on the standard US gross floor area but making an allowance for wall thickness this project would work out to about 3,500 sf.

  14. Riversong | | #14

    this project would work out to about 3,500 sf

    Which makes it WAY too big to qualify as a green project.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |