Green building has become mainstream in the last decade, expanding beyond the environmental community and becoming the hot topic among both commercial and residential builders. One major point of contention lies with the costs associated with green building regarding establishing the benefits of going green for both builders and owners alike.
While there are conflicting opinions about the costs associated with green building (critics proclaiming a significant cost increase over conventional building), statistics show that there are more positive impacts of green building than there are downsides. Advocates of green building state that costs are negligible when water and energy savings, health benefits, and environmental impacts are taken into consideration. Sustainable buildings are becoming more widely accepted, and the public is increasingly witnessing the benefits of green buildings on the environment. In this article, we will explore benefits of green building for occupants and the indoor environment.
Improving Indoor Environmental Quality
Indoor allergen agents contribute to poor IAQ or Indoor Air Quality. Allergens like dust mites, cockroaches, fungi, mold, dander, hair, and more all contribute to poor IAQ and a poor Indoor Life Quality (ILQ). Green building can improve not only air quality but other indoor environmental factors that ultimately benefit occupant health.
By going green, builders can elect to use products that don’t release chemicals or pollutants that ultimately reduce air quality. For instance, choosing paints, coatings, sealants, and pieces of furniture that do not emit volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs) can have a positive impact on user health. Alternatively, builders who use products that emit VOCs are exposing building users to substances that vaporize at room temperature, potentially putting occupants at risk for some different ailments.
The indoor benefits of green building go beyond air quality. By using building methods that reduce excess moisture, for instance, mold growth can be mitigated from the start. Use of daylighting can reduce energy costs and offer occupants a more natural lighting option to decrease discomfort from commercial fluorescent lighting. By providing operable windows and giving users easy access to temperature and ventilation control, builders can increase comfort control for building occupants.
Another way to improve the indoor environment is regarding improving energy and water efficiency. By installing photovoltaic panels to collect solar power, using energy efficient window shades to reduce glare and promote natural cooling, and installing automatic light sensors, builders can effectively promote energy savings. Ways to reduce water consumption include low-flow showerheads and faucets, low-flush toilets, and the planting of native plants when landscaping. By implementing these practices, building owners can see real cost savings over time and positively impact both the indoor and outdoor environments of their structures.
Resources to Improve an Indoor Environment
With respect to the goal of improving the way that homes use energy, water, and materials, green builders have several resources, materials, and strategies available, as well as ways of improving the indoor environment for occupants.
When building a sustainable home, be on the lookout for features like energy certified walls and windows, air ducts, heating and cooling equipment, and lighting and appliances. Energy Certified walls and windows use properly installed insulation to block energy-sucking drafts and utilize high-performance windows. Efficient air ducts ensure that rooms have enough air circulation for proper, efficient heating and cooling throughout the house.
Certified heating and cooling equipment keep the house comfortable at a lower financial and energy cost, and certified lighting and appliances help occupants maintain their household through the use of energy efficient dishwashers, refrigerators, light bulbs, and washers and dryers. Each of these sustainability improvements saves money, power, resources, and provides occupants with a comfortable home throughout all seasons.
Without someone to live in it, a house cannot be home. For the environmentally conscientious home buyer, marrying comfort with sustainability is important. For a home building experience that supports the highest standards of green building, while also providing a personalized experience, contact Belman Homes. At Belman Homes, we can help you choose products that will enhance the durability, aesthetic value, and comfort of your home.
We recognize the importance of health and healthy living when it comes to your green home, so we suggest healthy alternatives to traditional building methods as a way to help you meet your home building goals. We’re experienced in enhancing air quality, water quality, energy conservation, and green building. Contact us today to get started on building your sustainable dream home.