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6 Tips For Building A Green Home
1. Hire the right builder:
It’s important that the builder you select is passionate about creating healthy, eco-friendly homes. Ask for references from other green home building projects the builder has worked on. Inquire about any certifications they may have. It’s also important to be on the same page as to what your goals are in going green. Are you concerned about reducing construction waste? How will the green choices you make affect the pricing? Is there an emphasis placed on sustainable materials and materials with low level toxin emissions? Make a written list of what matters to you and put it in the contract.
2. Pick the perfect spot:
Often we think of green homes as being tucked away off the beaten path, but there’s no reason not to build green in the city and suburbs. In fact, being close to amenities and public transportation means having to be less reliant on a car. And we know that’s good for the environment! In terms of the site itself, carefully consider any negative impacts construction might have on the surrounding area. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, decide how your house can be best situated to take advantage of solar energy and shade trees.
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3. Size matters:
The larger a house is, the more materials it takes to build and the more it costs to heat and cool. That being said, it’s helpful to go by the Goldilocks’ rule of not too big and not too small. If you put careful thought into designing the type of space that supports your lifestyle in a way that is manageable, efficient, and cost effective, you won’t end up building more (or less) than you need.
4. Choose the right materials:
Even environmentally conscious building materials have pros and cons, so there are several things to weigh in making your choices. First you need to decide if a particular product is affordable. Blowing your budget on one green product might mean having to make deep cuts in other areas. Research the origin and the lifespan of the materials you choose, and consider using recycled materials when possible.
5. Look for cost benefits:
There are choices to be made around everything from insulation to windows and doors, and the choices you make will have a long term impact on your energy costs. While materials like triple-pane windows cost more at the outset, in the long run they’ll greatly improve energy efficiency, plus they offer the added advantage of dampening noise. The same cost benefit holds true for energy efficient and water saving appliances, as well as big ticket items like solar panels.
6. Make the most of your roof:
Why not consider a truly green roof for a creative and eco-friendly way to insulate your home and filter rainwater? Built with a light-weight, waterproof roofing system, a living roof provides a place for maintenance-free plants such as succulents, herbs, and even blueberries to grow.
What are benefits of having a living roof?
The idea of building green is transitioning into the mainstream, and as a result, there are more affordable, environmentally sustainable materials available, and more contractors who are focusing on green construction. Choosing to build a new green home is an excellent way to make the most out of energy, resources, and materials. You can be proud of making choices that will have a lasting impact for generations to come.
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