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Green sure seems to be the thing these days. Green manufacturing, green policies, green packaging, green building… it’s everywhere. And for good reason. Environmentally friendly practices and products help us be less wasteful with the Earth’s resources, not to mention they’re often less expensive too!
Green practices extend even to new construction homes, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away. In fact, it’s only getting bigger. Demand for green building doubles every three years, and not just in the United States either. This demand extends throughout 70 different countries. “Countries are looking for tools that support stable and sustainable economic growth,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “International business leaders and policymakers recognize that a commitment to transforming the built environment is crucial to addressing major environmental challenges.”
What Is Green Building?
Builders incorporate green building into their process when they use materials and practices in construction that aid in site sustainability, energy and water use efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere.
And it’s quickly becoming the industry standard.
Because of consumer demand, green building practices and materials are showing up less and less as optional upgrades and more and more as standard features.
“The shift is perhaps happening fastest in the single-family home industry as it looks for whatever it can find to move its homes,” said John McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. “Green, it turns out, is the most effective way to sell a home. Buyers find it more appealing to buy a home that is already efficient than a less expensive home that needs major retrofitting as well as new appliances and HVAC systems.”
Homeowners recognize that green building approaches are a better use of energy and allow for less waste, and to meet consumer demand, many new home builders such as Princeton Classic Homes and Legend Homes are making more green home features standard in their homes.
Homeowners are also drawn to the lower costs of green building, which are significantly less than conventional buildings, up to a 14 percent savings in a five-year period. And because demand for energy-efficient materials and products has increased, manufacturers are motivated to continue to offer affordable, sustainable options. Almost any homeowner can find a way to “go green” in some way.
Recycled Building Materials
Using an old structure to build a new home is one way some people go green in new home building. This allows for many of the materials to be recycled, rather than sent to the dump. It also adds a unique touch to a home when you can incorporate original features into new design.
Alternative Energy Sources
Geothermal energy is a more expensive way to “greenify” your energy use, but some people are still doing it. By tapping into the relatively stable temperatures of the ground beneath the frost level, you’re able to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home.
Solar energy, on the other hand, is attracting more and more people as a more affordable option.
Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star appliances reduce greenhouse emissions and energy use over time. It has become common practice for people to replace old appliances with Energy Star ones when the old ones give out. Many new construction homes now come with Energy Star appliances.
As industry leaders work to keep up with consumer demand for more energy-efficient products in their homes, we have options for far better products than ever before. High-performance window films, which block UV rays and paints that lead to healthier indoor air are just some of the healthier and better products we now have access to.
Here to Stay
Green building is revolutionizing the way we live. It makes sense that home builders are bringing more and more green practices into construction. When you’re building a new home, talk to the builders to understand how they incorporate green building practices into their homes.