Kermit the Frog once sang, “It’s not easy being green…” but with the wide selection of products, building green becomes easier each year. New homes today are significantly more energy efficient than they were even 10 years ago. And probably 100% more energy efficient than they were in the 1970’s. Green built homes are also safer and healthier because of using non-toxic building materials and products that do not create out-gassing. Special attention is also paid to good ventilation and air quality. (A necessity when constructing a tight building envelope.)
Constructing a green home does come with some additional costs. A better insulated home and energy-efficient appliances will cost more. However, many green building products such as energy efficient windows and doors, geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, long life siding and roofing, and recycled decking material can result in significantly lower operational and maintenance / replacement cost savings. So while building green will cost more up front, you’ll be able to recoup your money by large savings on energy bills. After-all, we all know the answer to this question: “Will energy costs go up or go down in the future?”
Green, at any price point is not accomplished through product selection alone. Some other strategies can cost nothing or very little. For example, depending on the orientation of your home, positioning the majority of your windows on the south side gives you passive solar and natural light gains. Low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets are widely available so the cost is neutral.
Are you seeking a home that will improve your quality of life? Desiring a home that is durable and easier to maintain? Want to use building products and practices that are good for the environment? Green building means building smarter and not compromising on the environment or its future. It’s a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us.