If you’re considering building a new home, you may have heard about green construction. Building green, as it’s often referred to as, simply means building your need home with different eco-friendly features and options. There are a number of different ways that you can build green, and you don’t have to necessarily use green features in every single part of your home — many of the eco-friendly options for new homes operation independently of each other. For example, you can certainly use green windows without installing solar panels. Building green is very flexible, but is it practical? Why should you even consider building a green home at all?
Many people are concerned about the environment and have been for years, but the technology to truly be eco-friendly hasn’t always existed or, if it did, wasn’t affordable or widely available. Even solar panels, a technology that has existed for quite some time, isn’t widely used in some parts of the country. However, as technology has advanced, it has become easier than ever to build a green house. Today, nearly every construction company can help you go green in at least some areas of your home. The availability of green technology has turned the question of “why build green” into “why not build green?”
Many people believe going green involves spending a lot of green, but that’s very rarely the case. While installing eco-friendly technology may cost a little more during construction, the overall savings makes it worth it. In many cases, the small extra cost of using green materials is made up in lower utility costs within a few years. For example, installing triple-paned windows instead of double-paned ones may add more to your budget upfront, but once you look at how much you save on heating and cooling, it’s worth it.
In some areas, it’s even cheaper to use green building materials and products than it is to use more conventional ones. In this case, the builder’s savings become your savings. You may find that by making careful choices during the planning phase that you can offset the additional costs of certain green materials with the savings from others.
It’s Easier to Go Green Now than Later
If you decide you want to make your home greener down the line, it’s not as easy as it is while the house is being built. Some green technology can be integrated into an existing home without too much trouble, but other green techniques may be more difficult, if not impossible. For example, you can’t really replace the materials used to build the structure of your home with recycled or sustainable building materials. Even the parts of your home you can replace with sustainable materials or more eco-friendly products will be more difficult and expensive than if you had installed them from the beginning.
You may also find installing these green options requires builders to tear up some of your walls or flooring. This can be expensive to repair, plus it can make parts of your home unusable for a few days or longer. Overall, it’s simply easier and cheaper to build green than it is to retrofit a home with green technology later.
Your Builders May Want to Build Green
Many construction companies are now looking to use sustainable and recyclable materials because it allows them to cut costs and pass those savings on to you. Being able to say that they build green homes and can offer substantial savings to homebuilders can be an advantage in today’s competitive environment. You may find that a number of the builders you’re considering are already planning on making use of a number of eco-friendly options in your home. There’s no reason not to go along with this plan.
Green Homes Use Less Energy
Green homes do more than just make use of sustainable materials or install technology that makes them more eco-friendly. The actual design of the house takes into account ecological principles that help reduce utility costs while making the home comfortable. This includes positioning windows in such a way that the room is lit with natural sunlight during the day. You don’t need to have as many, if any, lights on during the day. That can save you considerable electricity, especially for those who work from home or are at home most of the day.
These homes are also built with an eye towards the land they’re on. They take into account how water will flow through the area and make use of that rather than simply trying to flatten everything out or install expensive drainage solutions. Trees and other vegetation are also kept intact whenever possible so you can make use of the shade mature trees provide.
All in all, the question of why build green has many different answers. As a society, we are already putting more of a focus on conserving natural resources and recycling as much as possible. It’s likely that in the future, there won’t even be a question of building green—it will be the default.