Do You Know What Goes Into Green Home Building?
Green homes are a hot topic these days, and most people know that they help protect the environment, in addition to offering a healthier environment for families and healthy savings on energy costs. It’s important to understand what goes into green home building, though, because there’s a lot more to the process than meets the eye. If you’re planning to build a custom green home, you want to be sure you’re partnering with a home-builder who can deliver a finished project that is Energy-Star certified, using the latest techniques and materials, so your green home will give you every available comfort and protection while doing its part to conserve water, gas, and electricity, and reduce environmental pollution.
- Site Planning & Preparation – Green home building actually begins with the sit selection for your home, and the preparation of that site. By situating the house in between mature, healthy trees, you get the benefit of their shade and air-cleaning properties, in addition to preventing wasteful clearing of usable plants. Careful site planning saves you money on landscaping and can reduce water and energy consumption from day one.
- Energy-Efficient Architecture – The structure of your home can also make a significant contribution to energy efficiency. A green home design will likely include window placement for maximum natural light, reducing the need for electrical lighting during the day; interior design features that promote effective natural airflow through the home; efficient airflow through the attic; and roof surfaces planned for effective solar panel operation. There are many additional architectural features that can help a green home achieve best energy efficiency, depending on the overall style of the home you want.
- Materials That Save Energy – Insulation is a key factor in creating an energy-efficient home: Styrofoam insulation next to exterior walls and in the basement, blown cellulose insulation in the attic or walls, Tyvek wrap and elastomer sealing inside exterior walls to help prevent conditioned interior air from leaking and wasting energy all contribute to the structural part of a green home’s performance. In addition, energy-efficient mechanicals, fixtures, and appliances further the home’s eco-friendly operation: High-performance, right-sized water heater, gas furnace, and air conditioning units top the list; a carefully designed HVAC system with sealed and insulated ducts, zoned thermostats gives you a comfortable indoor temperature with minimal power use; and low-emission, multi-pane windows provide protection against heat gain or loss due to outside temperatures, while providing an added layer of sound insulation.
- Solar Power – Solar panels provide significant reductions in the amount of “dirty energy” your home demands. Whether you choose a system that stores power in a battery bank on your property, or sells excess power to the grid, you’ll see an impressive saving on your energy bills, right away. Designing the most efficient solar system possible begins with an analysis of the power your home will demand, and designing your roof to provide adequate space for the panels your home will need.
- Water-Conserving Measures – With modern low-flush toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads, you get eco-friendly operation, without sacrificing the performance you need to live comfortably. Choosing Energy-Star appliances like dishwasher and washing machine improves your water conservation further, and may also qualify for local, state, or federal tax incentive or rebate programs. Add an efficient irrigation system and well-designed landscape, and you’ve got a home that works hard to save water.
Green Home Building Is An Exact Science
When you’re ready to begin planning your green home project in the Downers Grove area, the professionals at Barriere Construction have the experience and independently verified results to earn your confidence. Work with a custom homebuilder who has a proven track record of designing and building beautiful homes that are 40 percent more energy efficient than standard new homes. Call us for a consultation on your green home building project.