The third leg of sustainability is economic sustainability. Truly sustainable processes, decisions, buildings, and lifestyles must also make sense from an economic perspective. Sustainable living means being  more efficient, creating little (or no) waste, using less to make more.  These are also simple tenets of good business.  To make economical choices, means making disciplined, sustainable decisions. 

What are the economic considerations in choosing home elements?  When creating a sustainable home or building, two common goals are efficiency and durability.  Our goal is to make it more efficient, by using less outside resources such as water and energy during its operation, and using fewer materials in construction. If done well, these choices have the potential to make a home more economical to build and to operate.  When designing and building sustainable structures, we also look to make them more durable.  Choosing materials and building practices that prevent or delay deterioration of the building are things that reduce maintenance costs.  When more than 90% of the cost of a building over its life is in its operation and maintenance costs, it is clear that it makes good sense to look to sustainable practices to improve the economics of a home or building.