Workers here are finishing the footing forms and pouring concrete. One of the things you will have to take into account when building a net zero energy home — and preparing your budget — is that super-insulating the slab will require your excavator to dig a much deeper hole to accommodate the five inches of insulation. This will cost more for the obvious reason: more time spent on the job. You can also encounter bedrock. We encountered bedrock that had to be removed by special equipment, adding to the cost. Keep this in mind when determining your budget. Budget for the unexpected.
Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on Google+.