Why should you look for homes constructed using green building practices? Green building is becoming more important to homeowners and society in general all across the U.S.
Most of us understand the importance of protecting the environment. But building homes with environmentally friendly construction materials and using sustainable building practices also benefits home buyers. That’s because green building creates a healthier indoor environment and results in lower utility costs.
Environmentally friendly housing begins with planning the community, taking into account factors such as water run-off and local natural habitat for wildlife. Placement of storm sewers to conserve wetlands, for example, not only protects potentially endangered species, it also plays an important role in flood control.
Laying out streets to avoid traffic jams and to encourage more commuters to walk can have a significant impact on emissions. Trees and other plants in parks, at schoolyards and along roads and walking paths filter air and provide cool shade in hot weather, reducing the urban ”heat island“ effect. And, of course, they make the neighborhood more visually appealing, boosting quality of life.
GREEN CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES
Home builders who are mindful of green building practices can reduce energy consumption, water use and the tonnage that goes into landfills.
Concrete has long been recognized as an building material with excellent insulation properties. On the other hand, producing a ton of concrete results in a ton of carbon dioxide emissions, and the process uses a lot of water and hazardous chemicals. Concrete also forms a significant proportion of material in landfills. Recycled concrete can be used for non-structural areas such as driveways, reducing the waste stream, carbon dioxide emissions, and power and water consumption.
Green builders also are mindful of the life-cycle assessment of their materials. This means they need to consider how long their materials will last and what happens to them when they reach the end of their useful lives. Will they simply go to a landfill? Or can they be recycled or repurposed in a more sustainable way?
Green building practices also include selecting materials that last longer.
A good builder can position a home to take advantage of sunlight and wind direction for any natural cooling and heating through the design of the roof, windows and doors.
The main benefits of green building practices, though, go to the homeowner. Not only do these homes use less energy to heat and cool, but they also are more comfortable.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home in Utah uses 8964 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year.
Better insulation, better doors and windows, and other construction materials can reduce residential heating and cooling costs by as much as 50 percent.
Innovations and growing awareness of materials have improved the indoor environment, as well. For example, new paints, innovative floor coverings and other materials inside homes have lower emissions of volatile organic compounds and other chemicals that can cause health issues over time.
Then consider the resale value of homes constructed using green building practices. Lower heating and cooling costs, coupled with higher durability, make them desirable to other buyers, boosting resale value.
BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT MEANS BETTER FOR YOU
Green construction practices are just better all around. First, they help the environment, protect natural habitats and create communities that are not only sustainable but also more attractive, enjoyable and healthy. Green construction produces less waste for landfills, use less energy and therefore produce less carbon dioxide emissions. They also use less water.
For you, the homeowner, sustainable building result in a healthier, longer-lasting home that costs less to maintain.
It’s a real win-win. And if you’d like to learn more about green construction practices, be sure to visit the Rainey Homes website.