You may hear people talk a lot about “green building”, especially if you are getting ready to build or renovate your home. Sometimes you may hear of green upgrades that sound out of your budget. Well, let me inform you about what exactly it means to “build green”, and some of the cost benefits to being earth conscious.
California prides itself on being one of the leaders in planet conservation for the US. Sometimes this can put a limit on what you can do to building a home, especially if you live in places like Marin, Oakland, San Francisco, Sonoma, or anywhere else in the Bay Area, as these places are extra earth conscious. However, the good news is there are plenty of builders, contractors, and architects that can help you get the job done with a low carbon footprint. Hiring a project manager or owner’s representative will ensure that you will be connected with the right people to help you build the home of your dreams while adhering to Bay Area standards. Let’s talk more about what it means to “build green”.
Building Green is about the entire process of building a structure from architectural design, construction, renovation, home design, landscaping, demolition, and maintenance. These practices are more friendly to the planet but the ways in which these practices make for sustainable living and building are many. For example: when demoing a home you can donate your lumber to be reused for other home building projects. There are many companies and non-profits that will accept your used lumber like this one and this one. Not only will you be recycling but you can also write it off as a donation! Which, let’s face it, if you’re building a home you need all of the monetary breaks you can get.
There are also switching to LED lighting. LED lights use up way less electricity, and they have come a very long way from the bright bluish hued headlights that run us off the road at night. Seoul is a company that makes LED lighting that mimics the sunlight in various stages of the day. There are also companies like this one, and this one that make everything from skylights that mimic the sun, to sun lights for seasonal depression. Not only to you get the feel of natural sunlight during any time of year but you are using less energy.
There are big ways you can lower your carbon footprint while building a home using recycled or sustainably sourced building materials, and installing solar panels. There are also small ways you can conserve like installing a shower head that you can control so that the pressure goes down when you don’t need the high pressure in the shower, or sealing your doors and windows to trap in heat.
The design of a home is important too. Window and skylight locations, when to use wood or concrete. These can all affect your carbon footprint while living in your new home. Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) has a set of standards that can help you and your building/design team build a modern house, that is also sustainable.
Gone are the days of building a home purely based on comfort and standing the test of time. Todays modern, and minimalist designs can provide comfort that will stand the test of time, but will also be gentler on the environment.Read More