Build it Green
There Are Three Fundamental Reasons Why One Would Consider Going Green For A Remodel Or For New Construction.
- The global reason is that buildings in the US consume 65% of electricity, create 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, create 136 million tons of waste and use 40% of raw materials. The environmental impact of the American Dream is enormous, and is in need of renovation.
- The health & family-conscious reason is that many products and materials in construction have harmful chemicals that can lead to health problems, especially in children. The offgassing from glues, sealers, paints, carpets, insulation, plywood, cabinetry and vinyls all contribute to higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which compromise indoor air quality.
- The economic reason is that using site orientation, natural light, energy efficient sealed combustion heating units, energy star rated appliances and other green materials & strategies will not only reduce maintenance costs and lower monthly utility bills, but will increase overall property value as well, making green building a wise investment.
With The Budget And Time Pressures We’re All Under Today, Is Building Green Really Worth The Extra Effort?
YES! In fact, when a building or remodeling project is designed green from the beginning, the costs don’t have to be higher than conventional building. Sometimes green elements do cost more initially, but when balanced against utility and maintenance savings over time, the financial sense of building green become clear.
The Four General Principles Of Green Building :
- Conserve natural resources
- Improve indoor air quality
- Use energy and water efficiently
- Create a durable, high quality, long lasting structure
The Benefits Include:
- Higher quality
- Lower maintenance
- Healthier indoor air quality
- Reduced water & electrical consumption (lower bills)
- Improved comfort
- Smaller environmental “footprint”
Did you know that indoor air pollution can be 2 to 5 times worse than outside air? And on average, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors!
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine states that 40% of children will develop respiratory disease, in part due to the chemicals in their homes. Luckily, there are several ways to address indoor air quality.
A Green Renovation Might Include:
- Using low or no VOC paints, caulks, sealers & glues
- Installing Formaldehyde free insulation
- Using Formaldehyde free wood & glues for cabinetry
- Reducing or eliminating carpeting which collect mold and bacteria
- Sealing crawl spaces, installing French drains & mechanical ventilation to reduce mold growth
- Building tight envelopes & ventilating right
The whole systems approach to building includes landscaping, drainage, site orientation, building structure & thermal envelope (including heating and cooling), use of water and electricity, and various means of using renewable energy. However, since most people don’t build their homes from scratch, homeowners must pick and choose the green elements they will incorporate into their existing structure.
Did you know that 22% of California’s waste stream comes from construction and demolition debris? That’s 9 million tons!*
However, through careful management of the construction process, this excess waste can be avoided.
Green building is no longer a niche market. It has become the vehicle through which many architects and home builders have renovated inefficient structures and increased the property value of existing homes. On average, homes that have “gone green” to one degree or another, sell for 30% more than a comparable conventional home.
Michael Myers, owner of Maganda Construction, commissioned Solar Works to install a 9.38kW
grid-tied solar electric system at his home workshop in Sebastopol ... The solar installation will save the Myers family about $3,600 in the first year, with a projected positive cash flow of $141,781 over 30 years ... Click here to read more