To kick off 2015, Hive Modular has five tips for building a green home without sacrificing affordability. The builder known for sustainable practices gave Intelligent Building Today the scoop on simple ways to go green during the homebuilding process.

1. Hire an Architect

By hiring an architect or getting a architect-designed plan, money is saved later by utilizing the knowledge of someone trained to maximize efficiency measures and capitalize on particular site conditions to ensure the best home is built for the property.

2. Build Smaller

Smaller homes require fewer resources to build and maintain, and also cost less money. In addition to lower energy bills, the process is greener by requiring less transport of materials and waste during construction.

3. Build on an Infill Lot or Near a Neighborhood

Infill lots instead of completely undeveloped property offer existing resources like driveways and septic systems, saving time and money on the construction process. The same goes for building in an established neighborhood, where resources go further to include nearby amenities and infrastructure lessening daily travel time.

4. Take Advantage of Green Measures that Cost Nothing

Measures like controlling runoff, collecting rainwater, and eliminating pavement are environmentally beneficial and cost almost nothing.

5. Prioritize the Most Cost Effective Green Features

Simple measures like additional insulation, triple pane windows, and passive solar orientation add very little to the overall building cost, but pay back quite a bit later. Research which measures are most cost effective for a particular site and choose those features first to bring down maintenance and utility costs.

Read more about the five New Year's resolutions for building green homes from Intelligent Building Today.