Aug 06 2009
If you are planning to build a new home, it is important to consider including green building techniques. Green building is a huge step in the right direction for healthy and responsible living so take some time to develop a green building plan with your builder. Incorporating just a few of these tips and ideas will not only result in an energy efficient home, but also you feel good about taking responsibility for the impact your new home will have on the environment. Consider these tips:
1. Keep it small – The best green homes have just enough space and no more cutting down on use of building materials, heating and cooling costs and more. Also consider building up instead of out. This technique requires less foundation and roofing materials and leaves more green space.
2. Incorporate renewable energy – Position your home to take advantage of natural lighting. If possible, incorporate other renewable energy techniques such as solar panels.
3. Use the benefits of your building site – Take advantage of the features on your lot that will provide economical benefits. Visit the lot with your builder, note the special features and build around them. Rather than cutting down mature trees to clear the lot, build near them. The extra shade will cut down on cooling costs. Build near evergreens. They work well as a wind block.
4. Develop a recycling plan – There is no need to waste materials. Order only the building materials you will need. Return anything that is unused. Recycle any partially used materials, donate them to a worthy cause or keep them for a future building project.
5. Plan for durability – Durability is one of the most important factors in green building. Selecting strong and durable materials ensures a long life. Choose materials that will stand the test of time requiring little or no remodeling in the future.
6. Incorporate a recycling and composting center – Face it, families generate a lot of waste. Be sure to include a space for a family recycling center. Also consider yard waste. Include plans to have your own composting area in the backyard for grass clippings, leaves, etc.
7. Choose green materials – Incorporate energy efficient and green building materials. Energy efficient materials include everything from insulation with a high R value to low flow toilets and Energy Star rated appliances. Also choose wood wisely. Look for wood products provided through sustainable wood companies.
There are many ways you can incorporate green building practices in the construction of you new home. Talk with your builder about these suggested techniques and any discuss other earth-friendly options the builder recommends for your area.
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