Blog

Apr
22
Earth Day and Green Building

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Why Build Green?




The urge to build green has slowly been gaining traction over the years. With more people becoming consciously aware of our impact on the earth, the question of “how do I make my home healthier” has been a reoccurring topic lately. Green building focuses on reducing waste and environmental pollution, efficiently using resources and materials, and protecting the health and safety of the home’s occupants. So let’s discuss how we can deign and build homes that are sustainable, high performing, affordable, cost-effective, healthy and in the long haul…saves you money.




What you should consider when building green.



  • Working with a builder who knows how to build green is where you want to start. They will be able to make sure your impact to the surrounding environment is done at minimal costs to the environment.

  • You will want to source local materials as much as possible and make sure any leftovers are recycled back into the project and kept out of landfills. Also, be sure to choose materials that contain fewer chemicals, are sustainable and designed to last.

  • Choosing items that are energy efficient is a must.

    • Insulation: Reducing the heating and cooling loads of a home is a key component of green building. Insulation plays a pivotal role in energy loss. Well insulated homes saves the homeowner money by lowering the homes operating costs.

    • Windows: Energy loss through windows account for roughly 25% of your heat loss in a home. Choosing energy efficient windows that are appropriate for your climate and budget is the next step to saving you money in the long run.

    • HVAC: Indoor air quality should be important to us all. If you’re a person with allergies you know the importance of having good, clean air flow in your home. Having a home that is properly insulated, with energy effect windows, cuts down on the energy and cost it takes to run your HVAC unit. You can compound that positive effect by selecting the proper energy efficient HVAC unit for your home.

    • Appliances: Did you know that appliances/electronics account for nearly 50% of an average home’s electricity bill? Choosing the right energy efficient products is as simple as looking for the ENERGY STAR label and reading the Energy Guide tags.

    • Water efficiency: The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the United States uses more than 400 billion gallons of water per day. For those living in dry climates, water rationing is not uncommon. To incorporate water savings into our homes we can install efficient plumbing fixtures, select efficient irrigation technologies, and do simple things like turn off the water between brushing our teeth and taking shorter showers.



  • Incorporating renewable energy design into your home through the use of solar, wind or water is another way to incorporate energy savings into your home. Achieving net zero energy is another goal of some homeowners. However, that is another topic for another time.



Reflection


The past year has kept a lot of us inside, and the realization of how we live and function in our homes, has us thinking about the future. If you are noticing drafts in your home, cold/warm spots, higher than normal energy bills, and sinus or breathing issues, you’re not alone. Upgrading your windows and making sure you have an airtight seal, as well as upgrading your HVAC and appliances can be done when you are ready. We all deserve to live in a home that is not only good for the environment, but also good for us.


Curious what your ecological footprint is? Here is a link to a quick quiz you can use to find out.


http://www.footprintcalculator.org/


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Contact us today if you are ready to live a healthier life and start seeing savings in your home.


VANDER MEULEN BUILDERS


(616) 396-3448


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