May 16, 2014

What you need to know about Building GREEN – Top 10

Over the last decade the industrialized world has become embroiled in the “green” movement. Based on a philosophy of sustainability and conservation, many people have thrown around the terms “energy-efficient” and “green construction.”

There are many aspects of a home that go into making a home more sustainable, from where it is located, to who is building it, and what materials the building is made of.

Here are the top TEN things you should know about Building Green:

1. The Architect- Building green starts with the design. Whether designing an office building or a home, designing a green building is an art and a science. If you are looking to build green, hire an architect that specializes in green construction.

2. Hire a Builder- The next step is finding a builder that not only adheres to your green vision, but practices green construction methods as well. Make sure you, your builder, and your designer are on the same page before construction begins.

3. Natural Light- Incorporate plenty of windows in every room, and you should also consider adding skylights as well. A building with lots of natural lighting reduces energy expenses on electricity and heating bills. It also improves our moods and helps the body produce vitamin D. The use of natural light goes beyond being an alternative source of light inside your home. You can use the sun to power your home too by installing solar panels!

4. A Green HVAC system- A poorly planned HVAC system can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth. This can be the start of a myriad of health and productivity issues. You should make sure that your heating and cooling unit is large enough to get the job done. The same goes for units that are too large: they will burn up more energy. The less energy your building needs the less impact it will make on the environment, all while putting money back into your pocket.

5. Double Pane Windows- This one is a no-brainer. Double pane windows keep air locked in, ensuring that your building is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

6. Gray Water Systems- Consider installing a gray water system in your building. A gray water system recycles water that isn’t drinkable (but also not sewage) to perform tasks like flushing toilets or watering a lawn. These systems can either repurpose used water, or collect rainwater to get the job done.

7. Choose Carefully Where You Build- Building a home close to where you work and play will mean less money and energy spent on gas. It’s a simple solution that works out best for you, your family, and the environment.

8. Remember the Goldilocks Rule for House or Building– Size and surface area greatly determine the heating, cooling, and maintenance costs of a home or building, along with larger initial construction costs.  Don’t construct a building that is too big and uses too many resources, and don’t build one that is too small and doesn’t adequately meet its’ mark.

9. Minimize erosion and water use– Construct a home or building in an area that is less prone to water and wind erosion. Also, talk to your architect and builder to see how they can safeguard your building from rain and wind damage.

10. Use Green Building Materials- Not all building materials are created equally. A great way to use green materials is to salvage wood from old barns or abandoned buildings to build attractive wood floors. This saves on material costs and gives a vintage look to your home or office.

Keep these ten tips in mind while building green, and you will construct a home or building that lowers costs and is better for the environment.

If you are looking for an innovative construction company that will build to your needs, give us a call and we would be happy to meet with you!

Update, January 2019: Recently, there have been incentives and rebates released for residential and commercial buildings to encourage people to build green! Check out Energy Efficient Custom Home and Commercial Building Projects for more information!