Today, it seems that everyone is talking about “going green” when it comes to home construction, but not everyone knows what it means to be truly eco-friendly. Often seen as a costly, complicated home building solution, the current advantages of green building design are at an all-time high. But what does it mean to have a green building? Why should prospective home builders consider going green in their construction and design? In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of green building and explore why home builders should consider sustainable practices and designs when it comes to the construction of homes.
What is Green Building?
Some people consider going green to be a movement, yet others know that green living is an eventuality for all in the future. In an effort to preserve and better use the earth’s natural resources, green living focuses on sustainability. When it comes to green building, these principles transfer over to the construction of structures.
In green building, there is a two-pronged approach to sustainability concerning the processes used to build a structure and the structure itself. First, a green building will ideally allow for the preservation of most of the natural environment around the project site. The focus of builders will be to prevent disruption of the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building. Secondly, the green building will be able to serve its purpose efficiently, with sustainable, high-performing materials.
Green building focuses on reducing waste and environmental pollution in the home building process, efficiently using materials and resources like water and energy, and protecting the health and safety of the home’s occupants. Just as with conventional building design, green building also focuses on the core concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. However, going green takes these concerns one step further by adding sustainability into the mix.
Does “Going Green” Cost More?
It’s a common misconception that going green costs a ton. In fact, going green often ends up being less expensive in the end. While some initial upfront costs may be a bit higher than with traditional building (green materials and products can be more expensive than conventional materials), in fact, the overall savings offset the initial spend builders will have to cover.
Consider window upgrades. Making the decision to upgrade windows from double-pane to triple-pane can add thousands to your window budget. However, when factoring in the reduced costs in labor, duct installation and other material costs, builders may find that adding green materials and processes results in lower overall construction costs.
When going green, savings for the builder are passed along to the owner as well. By investing in more durable, efficient materials, homeowners can benefit from increased lifespan of their home’s components. They may find they don’t have to replace systems and structures as often as conventional building materials.
Benefits of Green Building
Builders are encouraged to look at the lifecycle of materials, rather than only considering the initial costs of green building. Eco-friendly construction aims to use efficient and environmentally responsible materials and procedures to protect the environment on which a building is built, as well as the building itself. While eco-friendly building materials may cost a bit more initially, in the long run, there are significant benefits to building green—both economically and socially.
Green buildings have low maintenance and operation costs, as they have adopted construction techniques that preserve natural resources like water and energy. For instance, many green buildings have variable lighting systems, which rely on the use of natural daylight. This saves owners a significant amount of money on their water and energy bills.
Green building also benefits the health of the owners and users. Eco-friendly construction often avoids using materials with known toxic substances or plastic byproducts. This can make the building more enjoyable for the user and promote healthy living for both the user and the environment.
By building green, property owners reduce waste of energy resources and eliminate the usage of environmental pollutants such as coal. With each green building built, this helps take a step in the direction of reducing carbon emissions and limits the strain on local resources for water and energy.
Being eco-friendly is more than a buzzword. It’s an actionable solution to combat climate change and preserve the earth’s natural resources as populations continue to grow. Going green doesn’t have to be a big ticket endeavor. Green initiatives are often cost-effective in the long and short run, and builders can often find that green materials last longer than conventional building materials and often result in a better outcome for the end user.
Don’t shy away from green building due to misconceptions about what going green really means. Consult a home builder like Belman Homes who is known for crafting high-quality structures with keen attention towards promoting green initiatives.