Multifamily housing is often seen as one of the most difficult markets to serve for energy retrofits. Besides barriers specific to the market, such as split incentives between owners and renters, low availability of capital (especially for buildings that provide homes for low- and moderate-income families), and building systems for which there a small number of qualified retrofit contractors, there are the more familiar barriers of lack of information, high transaction costs, and uncertainty about energy savings.
However, the market offers great opportunity for improved energy performance if these barriers can be overcome. According to a2007 report from the Energy Programs Consortium, multifamily buildings make up 18 percent of the nation’s housing and have higher potential energy savings than the average residential building. The report estimates that retrofits to multifamily buildings can provide energy savings ranging from 30 percent to 75 percent, depending on the condition of the building.
One effort that has successfully turned this potential for energy improvements in the multifamily housing market into a reality is the Chicago area Energy Savers program, profiled in a new ACEEE local policy case study. This regional collaboration of nonprofit organizations, local governments, and foundations has created a single entity with professional staff that provide owners of multifamily buildings with information on energy savings opportunities, financing, and contractors. The program uses a one-stop-shop model to walk building owners through the complications of each step in the decision-making process. The model has been successful in both providing verified energy savings as well as creating a word-of-mouth referral network that has led more building owners to participate in the program. Since starting in 2007, the program has made energy improvements to 5,000 multifamily rental units resulting in an average energy savings of 30 percent.
To learn more about the Energy Savers program, take a look at the full case study, and check out ACEEE’s other local policy case studies to learn more about other initiatives by local governments and stakeholders around the country to improve energy efficiency. More resources related to energy efficiency in multi-family homes are available on our relatedtopic page.
I receive about 50 inquires a month and the first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a custom home?
Lot costs are typically 30% to 35% of your total budget for a home.
We find construction costs of $180 per sqft + or – 10%, plus a fixed cost of about $30k for site development costs. (Utilities, Driveway, Fencing, Landscaping, etc.) If you want a modern home with flat roofs and steel, you are looking $220 per sqft + or – 10%.
Architectural Fees / Engineering Fees typically are 7% of construction costs, + or – depending on the amount of detail you want designed.
Time to draw plans are 3 to 6 months. Time to permit is about 60 days. Time to construct a home depends on the size of the home, but typically we can do about $70K to $120k of work per month on a home; with a minimum of 6 months to construct a home.
In today’s market we are finding that in doing large renovations/additions to homes are saving 10% to 20% versus a new home.
Typically we see costs for new added space at $200 per sqft. Redoing existing space is about $120 per sqft.
Architectural Fees / Engineering Fees typically are 6% of construction costs, + or – depending on the amount of detail you want designed.
Time to draw plans are 1 to 3 months. Time to permit is about 30 days. Time to construct a home depends on the size of the home, but typically we can do about $60K to $100k of work per month on a home; with a minimum of 3 months to construct a home.