If You Build It Green, They Will Come

Posted on: 17 September 2014

"Going green" seems to be all the rage. In fact, according to one study, 78% of people choose to buy green products or services. General contractors and home builders have an opportunity to ride the wave of this popularity by building homes that incorporate elements of green living. Let's explore some of the elements that go into building a green home.

Sealing and Insulation

Proper insulation and sealing is essential when designing a green home. Improper insulation and sealing increases energy usage. This is not only hard on the consumer's pocketbook, but impacts the environment in a negative way, as well. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) , domestic power demands account for 21% of all the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States. Also, ensure the insulation has the highest R-value the consumer can afford. This will ensure the least amount of energy escapes the home.

Windows

If the budget allows, install multi-pane windows that are filled with an insulating gas. This will prevent hot air from escaping on cold winter days, and cold air from the air conditioner will remain indoors during the heat of summer. Proper placement of windows can also take advantage of increased natural lighting. Your clients will appreciate the lower utility bills and lack of unwelcome drafts in the home.

Heating and Cooling

According to the EPA, "about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections." Ensure all ducts are sealed properly and disperse air as efficiently as possible. Also, purchase energy efficient heating and cooling systems to ensure your client's are getting the best long-term benefit for their heating and cooling needs.

Passive practices such as proper house orientation that maximizes solar exposure and proper shading from trees and vegetation can have a positive impact on energy use in the home, as well.

Lower utility bills and more comfortable living conditions will make for a very happy new home buyer.

Wood

Bamboo and other Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified woods add beauty to the home while preserving the environmental impacts of forestation. According to the FSC, "Deforestation and forest destruction is the second leading cause of carbon pollution, causing 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions." New home buyers that are interested in eco-friendly practices will appreciate not contributing to this ongoing environmental challenge.

Building green looks like it is here to stay. With numerous tax incentives and environmental benefits, consumers are more likely than ever to be looking to "go green".

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