Green building materials and practices are more durable, require less maintenance, and help refresh your home’s look. They also reduce your home’s energy costs and pollution levels.
Many architects are working to make homes greener, and it’s a movement that’s growing. These architects use sustainable techniques to create designs that minimize environmental impacts and are more efficient.
Energy efficiency is the cheapest and most effective way to lower your household energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. It is also an essential component of green building.
Often overlooked by home buyers, energy efficient homes save a lot of money on your energy bill and can help to reduce your environmental impact. A new LEED certified home can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bills!
The key to saving energy is minimizing the amount of energy used for the same task. This includes making sure your home is properly insulated and using energy-efficient appliances, lighting and windows.
Another way to save on your energy bills is by installing low-flow fixtures like toilets, shower heads and sink faucets. These simple measures can cut your water usage significantly and save you a lot of money on your water bills.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is a key component of a green building. It can be improved through a number of strategies, including insulation and ventilation.
A 2015 Rutgers University study compared air quality in green buildings with conventionally built homes and found that green buildings achieved higher levels of indoor air quality than their counterparts. It also argued that the health effects of poor indoor air quality could be prevented by green building design and construction.
Indoor allergens, such as dust mites and cockroaches, fungi, mold, pollen, bacteria, tobacco smoke and particulates, can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Using GREENGUARD products to address these issues can help improve air quality in green buildings.
Water conservation is one of the most critical aspects of green building. As the global water supply reaches its limits, it is imperative that building owners and tenants take steps to conserve and manage their own water consumption.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways to reduce a home’s water usage. For example, a low-flow faucet can significantly cut down a household’s water bill.
Another way to reduce water consumption is by recycling graywater, which is water that is typically discarded from a washing machine, sink or dishwasher. Using this recycled water for landscaping purposes can drastically reduce a building’s use of potable water, saving water and energy.
As water costs continue to rise and water supplies are limited, building designers must consider how to minimize their impact on the environment by implementing water efficiency strategies in new construction. The NAHB is working to build awareness through its Builder’s Toolkit for Water, which includes videos, expert Q&As and checklists to help builders prepare for sustainable construction.
Building a green home requires choosing sustainable materials that have less of an impact on the environment than standard construction materials. Ideally, these materials are sourced from local, organic resources that minimize transportation emissions and reduce waste.
Using recycled materials is another way to create an eco-friendly home. Reclaimed wood, metal and glass are just a few of the common recycled building materials used in home construction today.
Straw and old tires are another great material to use for sustainable building. Often used as a roof or for walls, these natural materials have minimal environmental impact and can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In addition to making your home more environmentally friendly, green building can also save you money and boost the value of your property. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to build a green home.