Please read this informative post from Chris Lundahl about green buildings and homes. This is a growing trend in our industry and one that I think is extremely important. This is meant to be an introduction to being “green” and would love to hear feedback from the field.
WHAT IS GREEN BUILDING AND HOUSING?
There is a thin line between green building and housing. These two terms are interconnected. One includes elements of another, and together they create environmentally friendly, healthy and efficient way of dwelling. Green housing refers to affordable building projects with sustainable features. Properties built according to the green building concept are usually made of materials such as wood, timbercrete, ashcrete, mycelium, recycled plastic and others. Architects and builders consider each step of the building process: material processing, manufacture, distribution, and disposal. They make sure that each phase of building is in line with environmentally acceptable behavior.
In the US many states adopted policies that demand or motivate homeowners to turn to green building and housing. For example, environmental taxes stimulate business owners to include eco-friendly ways of operating. Companies that utilize energy-efficient technology can get tax relief.
The most significant challenge to the green living movement is that people can’t look past the high starting expense. Sustainable measures and improvements are a substantial financial investment. Even though it pays off from the long-term perspective, homeowners find it hard to put in such a big amount of money at once.
BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE LIVING AND GREEN HOME HOUSING
Advantages and benefits of living energy efficiently are endless. If you decide to live by the green code and transform your real estate into a sustainable property, then you can expect important economic, social, health and environmental benefits.
Environmentally speaking, green living goes a long way. It affects not just your location but the entire planet. There are regional and global benefits. Local benefits include better waste organization and improved water quality. But the global level is far more important. You could help boost biodiversity and protect ecosystems which get more vulnerable day by day. Slowly, sustainable way of living and green housing can contribute to conversation and restoration of natural resources. Just like with water, air quality is expected to rise.
Economic benefits are just as huge and numerous. Your household can get financial benefits in shape of lower bills, higher home value, reduced outlays and bureaucratic costs. Green housing projects also influence your entire community from the energy suppliers to other taxpayers. Green projects contribute to the social welfare of your community by increasing economic activity and improving fire safety.
Here are some green home improvements which, in the long run, save you energy and cut your expenses.
Solar panels, containing photovoltaic cells, are the ultimate way to cut electricity costs. Panels also add to reducing pollution. Starting expense for the installation of solar panels is around $20 000 – that is a tremendous amount of money, which recoups in just five years.
SOLAR WATER HEATER
If you find solar panels too extreme to start with, consider solar water heaters. Solar heaters are as effective as panels but for less than half of the initial price. Investment is recouped much faster. You can expect to profit in about two years time because of significantly lower energy bills.
Home insulation is an inevitable step in sustainable living. Annually, around 20 % of energy simply slips through our roof and windows. Roof insulation reduces heat loss and keeps your home energy efficient. You can even take insulation as a DIY project or call a professional contract.
Chris is a home improvement writer working for Arizona Roofing Systems. He promotes sustainable living, particularly green roofing and solar energy.