Tag Archive 'green house plans'

Oct 08 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Why Build a GREEN Home?

Green Home BuildingWhen it comes to building a new home, there are many benefits to gain by using green building methods. From choosing earth-friendly materials to following environmentally-friendly practices there are several things you and your builder can do to make your new home green. So why build GREEN? Green building and living is the way of the future. With every choice we make we have the option to protect our environment and planet or endanger them. Building a home makes a huge impact on the environment and landscape. Making responsible choices and decisions throughout the construction process helps protect the environment, our resources and our health. It is important that we do our part.

 

Carbon Footprint

Making an effort to use green materials will help lesson your carbon footprint. (A carbon footprint in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organization or an event such as building a home.) Choosing local materials to finish your home will have less of an impact on the environment than selecting materials that must be shipped from far locations. Also, when clearing your lot, only clear the space that is necessary to build the home. Leave as many mature trees and as much shrubbery undisturbed as possible. This will leave the established ecosystem in place providing homes to resident animals and insects, allowing trees and greenery to produce oxygen and provide shade reducing your summer cooling bills.

 

Protecting Resources

Plan to use sustainable materials when building your home such as bamboo flooring. Bamboo grows much more quickly than other timber allowing it to replenish itself in a fraction of the time it takes for hardwoods and exotic timber to reproduce. Choosing sustainable materials prevents exploitation of natural resources.

 

Energy Efficiency

Using green or recycled materials can help increase the overall efficiency of your home and eliminate landfill wastes. Consider recycled paper or denim products to insulate your home. Choose countertops made of recycled glass instead of purchasing a granite countertop. Install high quality thermal windows cutting down on heating and cooling bills. Consider a geothermal heating and cooling system. Incorporate solar panels. Take advantage of your lot and position your home to make the best of natural lighting. Choose and install Energy Star rated appliances. All of these things help eliminate waste and reduce energy consumption (and your utility bills.)

 

Water-Use Reduction

Select and install water-conserving appliances and fixtures such as low-flow toilets and shower heads. Purchase a water-conserving washing machine and dishwasher. Not only will these choices help protect our water supply, but they will also reduce your water bill.

 

Heath Benefits 

Choose green products to finish the interior of your home such as formaldehyde-free building materials and low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. These healthy alternatives help prevent respiratory problems that can arise when using traditional building materials.

 

So, before you build your new home, talk with your builder about these green building practices and other things you can do to make earth-friendly choices throughout the construction process.

 

For more information, check out these articles about green building.

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Aug 06 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Green Building: 7 Earth-Friendly Building Tips

House Plan 001H-0012If 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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