Green building practices are here to stay! – Not only do they take into account protection of the environment and conservation of our natural resources, but they also provide several benefits to homeowners when building or remodeling a home. As a Certified Green Builder, Travis has educated himself and his team on green building methods and can help educate you, the consumer, to make cost versus benefit decisions when creating an efficient and healthy home for years to come.
What makes a home Green? – Features encouraging efficient use of energy, water, and other resources contribute toward environmentally responsible home construction. Typically the same features that protect the environment protect your health and improve the comfort of the occupants of the home. Reducing waste and pollution, including indoor air pollution, benefits humans as well as the environment. Green homes may incorporate sustainable materials in their construction (reused, recycled-content building materials, or materials made from renewable resources). Examples include reclaimed beams from a historical barn, reclaimed wood flooring, recycled glass countertops, or recycled manufactured siding. Green construction creates healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants due to reduced product emissions and may feature exterior landscaping that reduces water usage by utilizing native plants that need less watering.
What are some of the benefits of building or remodeling a Green built home? – The assumption that building a green home is expensive, but this is not necessarily true. Calculating the real costs of Green features often requires including costs that are avoided in the future like reducing utility bills and increasing the longevity of components of your home. Less water and electricity used may result in lower overall utility costs. Improved indoor air quality may translate into fewer doctor visits or a reduction in allergies. Along with lower utility operating costs, there are several opportunities for special rebates and tax credits when you upgrade to higher efficiency appliances, toilets, fixtures, and HVAC systems. In addition, buying quality components when you build or remodel may translate into lower home maintenance costs over time.
Green built homes are not a trend that will fade! – The Green features add immediate value to your home and the home buying market is recognizing the value of a Green built home and resale prices are reflecting that trend. Building and remodeling Green now is being ahead of the curve, not behind it.
What are some of the features of a Green home? – Several features can make a home Green, but the following are most commonly used in the Midwest region:
- Energy Star rated appliances and lighting
- Installing reclaimed beams and wood flooring
- Utilizing engineered wood and Green framing techniques to reduce the amount of lumber used to construct or remodel a home
- High efficiency heating and air systems including geothermal, radiant floor heating, and energy recovery ventilation systems
- Foam insulation that makes the home air tight to avoid air leakage and water filtration
- Using materials with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that reduce the off gassing of harmful vapors into the home from products like paint, carpet, or tile
- The overall building orientation of the home and how it sits on a lot in comparison to the sun and wind exposure
- Water conservation features such as low flow showers, toilets, and faucets and high efficiency, well insulated hot water heaters or solar heated hot water heaters
- Installing solar panels to reduce electrical reliability on local utilities and reducing the overall energy use of the home
- Landscaping that features native plants and grass that require less watering, fewer feedings, and minimal toxic chemical use
These are just some of the features of a Green home that can easily be incorporated during the building or remodeling process.
How do you rate a Green house? – The industry standard for rating how efficient a house is was established by the Environmental Protection Agency and is commonly referred to as the HERS rating. The Home Energy Rating System, or simply HERS, is a scoring system set by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to measure a home’s energy efficiency in relation to the HERS Reference Home which is represented by a score of 100 on the HERS Index. A certified trained HERS rater conducts a “door blower test” to establish the HERS rating for a newly constructed home or an established home.
Contact Travis Miller Homes today to help plan your new home or remodeling project with Green features and live in a more comfortable, healthy home for you and your family!