Green building materials and methods in remodeling or new construction essentially equates to higher quality higher valued homes, healthier environments and financial savings. Begin by practicing greener thinking which will gently shift your project and lifestyle into healthier greener practices. Do what you can. Every effort makes a big difference, no matter how small.
You'll save money
Green building includes appropriate energy savings products and practices including good insulation, energy-efficient doors and windows, appliances, lighting and other household equipment. Savings have been reported as much as 65% and even 90%. Savings comes from your heating, air-conditioning and water bills. Water can be reduced through use of low-flow equipment such as low-flow toilets and low-flow faucet and shower aerators.
You'll be Healthier and More Comfortable
Healthier Indoor Air: Consider materials, furnishings and finishes that reduce or prevent indoor toxins. Many conventional interior products contain chemicals which offgass toxic vapors referred to as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). When several of these products are combined in an air-tight interior, health compromises are likely. It can even be deadly. Indoor air quality is imperative to good health. The largest surface areas are the place to start greening your home. Products such as conventional carpeting and wood composite materials (plywood and particleboard) in cabinets and furniture contain toxins such as formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen. Instead, choose alternative carpeting with tack rather than glue installation and alternative formaldehyde-free wood products and installation products and practices. Conventional paints, stains and finishes may also contain toxic chemicals. Choose solvent-free, no or low-VOC paints, stains, finishes and adhesives some of which perform better than conventional products. And remember the ventilation system which provides air circulation to prevent build up of chemicals, particulates and molds. Ensure it is properly maintained so that the system doesn't generate its own pollutants.
Temperature & Daylight: Consider the sun's exposure in your design, coordinated with appropriate energy savings materials and methods. Properly utilizing the sun provides optimum ambient temperature and lighting levels at reduced energy costs over years of ownership.
You'll have Better Quality and Less Maintenance = Increased value
Green building makes use of durable materials of higher quality, installed with longevity in mind. Many products are designed to last decades, enhance and the quality and performance of your home, reduce its maintenance costs and lower replacement requirements. Each of these factors contributes to the increase in value of our property and the quality of your family's lives.
You'll Feel Good about Being a Good Steward
By greening your home, you benefit in ways you may not even realize. All products and building methods have a downstream effect. You get to help preserve our natural resources and improve the environment that reaches around the globe. Some practices of green building include:
buy locally resourced materials where they are available, contributing to your community
purchase recycled content products which prevent pollution by eliminating waste and regenerating or reusing still useful ingredients
use 'green' wood, which includes composite, bio-based or engineered products that are formaldehyde-free and help resolve the global forest devastation problems. Reclaimed and sustainable wood, and the very popular bamboo products, are also cost effective green options.
recycle your demolition materials. Utilize the GreenSage.com classifieds feature to sell them or donate your materials to an organization of your choosing.