It’s important to understand what Remodeling & Building Green really means.
Before you understand and appreciate the importance of remodeling and building green it is important to understand what green means. A green-built home is a practice of creating a structure and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout the home’s life-cycle from the initial siting to design, construction, maintenance and any future renovations. This practice expands and complements the building design concerns of economy, utility, durability and comfort. Green building is also known as sustainable or high-performance building.
Well-designed, constructed, maintained or remodeled green homes can have many benefits, including durability: reduced cost for energy, water, operations and maintenance: improved occupant health and productivity: and the potential for greater occupant satisfaction than standard developments.
For example, green homes may incorporate sustainable materials in their construction (e.g., reused, recycled content, or made from renewable resources); create healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants (e.g., reduced product emissions from paint, floor coverings, etc.); and/or feature landscaping that reduces water usage (e.g., by using native plants that survive without extra watering).
A green remodel or home may cost more upfront but can save money over the life of the building through lower operating costs.
Perhaps surprisingly, good green buildings often cost only a few percentage points or no more to build than conventional designs. Integrated design processes that identify the most efficient, holistic approaches to building green can reduce these initial costs. For example, in some cases, when homes are carefully designed to be energy efficient, heating/ventilation/ air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can be downsized for significant savings. There are also many green products and materials that cost the same or even less than conventional ones.
“There are several benefits for remodeling and building green,” said Allen Griffin, President of Gryphon Builders. “First would be the government incentives for upgrading from basic systems to energy-efficient ones. Secondly would be the lower utility bills that come as the envelope of the home and the systems are updated. The third would be just plain comfort. My favorite is my air conditioning system in my own home, the humidity control and comfort is outstanding compared to the old inefficient system,” Griffin concluded.
Nation’s First Certified Green Renovation by Gryphon Builders
Benefits to Remodeling and Building Green
1. Lower utility and water bills. Having energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen and media room can reduce monthly utility bills. Tankless water heaters, for example, mean less time and water wasted waiting for water to warm up in the sink or shower.
2. Healthier indoor air quality. Green-certified homes offer reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. This is especially beneficial to sufferers of asthma and bronchial disorders.
3. Higher real estate resale value. Realtors and Real Estate Associations across the United States are reporting increased valuations in the range of 4 – 5 percent, and sometimes higher, for residences that incorporate high quality “green content” and energy efficiency infrastructure enhancements that have a direct impact on power consumption and reduced power cost to the home.
4. Improved durability and less maintenance. Certain green building materials, such as bamboo floors, are easy to clean or require less maintenance than traditional carpet flooring.
5. Reduced waste sent to landfills. Many green homes often use recycled building materials.
6. Enhancing and protecting biodiversity and eco-systems. Using native landscaping reduces needed irrigation.
7. Conserving and restoring natural resources. Harvesting gray water saves on water bills. Composting saves money ordinarily spent on fertilizer and sends less waste to landfills. Alternative energy sources means a home neither contributes to rolling blackouts nor is it as badly affected by them.
8. Better for the environment. In the U.S., homes are responsible for 21 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United States Green Building Commission. Living in a green home means that you are helping reduce the causes of climate change.
Six components of a green home
These are all programs that vary in some ways, but all highlight the same six most important components of remodeling and building green: site design and development; lot design, preparation and development; resource efficiency; energy efficiency; water efficiency; and indoor environmental quality.
These are also programs that may be coupled together for dual or tri-certifications for more distinction. A certified home ensures the validity of green claims and accounts for the many elements, while also providing a classification of the green home such as Platinum (the green-est), Gold, Silver and Bronze.
For information on how to begin the remodeling process check out one of our latest articles! (Home Remodeling Project: Where to Start).
Are you ready to take the first step in your home remodeling project? Our team is ready and willing to help you find answers to any burning questions you may have about the process. Schedule your consultation today!