November 9th, 2010 by Andrew Zahn
Those who are looking to custom build new green homes or exploring the market for previously-constructed eco friendly homes for sale often ask what attributes they should look for in terms of energy-efficient, eco-sustainable homes. The following is a list of the top ten green home construction tips that will ensure a homeowner that their new residence will meet the standard requirements to be designated “green”.
- LEED certification: Certifying a home under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program will ensure you through third-party inspections that the home meets the global standard for ecologically sustainable design and construction.
- Low toxicity building materials: Ensure that the materials used in the construction of the home are environmentally-friendly wherever possible. This includes the use of low VOC paints inside and out, as well as in the epoxies and sealants used in the house’s interior.
- Upgradeable solar electricity: Home solar panel systems provide a source of low-cost, eco sustainable electricity that is readily usable for all household needs, and also feeds the grid when not in use. This can actually turn back your electric meter, resulting in even more savings.
- Water conserving plumbing: Plumbing fixtures throughout the house should include features that save on water consumption. This includes such things as low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets with an option for lower flush for fluids and a standard flush for solid waste. High-quality faucets and other fixtures with replaceable parts will also ensure a long life without waste.
- Enhanced insulation: Use of bio-based, non-toxic foam insulation in the exterior walls and ceilings will help to prevent heat loss and maintain comfortable indoor temperatures without contributing toxins to the atmosphere.
- Energy efficient low-E windows: Low emittance coatings on windows blocks the transfer of radiant heat, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
- High Efficiency Air Conditioning: Specify units with a SEER rating of 18 or above, tight leak free ducts and system free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) will provide cost savings and a clean air environment.
- Energy-efficient appliances: Energy Star appliances generally use 20%–30% less energy than their counterparts. This translates to cost savings and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions.
- Smart landscaping: Look for the use of native plants in your landscaping plan. Plants that are native to the area will require less water and lower maintenance. Outdoor irrigation systems should conserve water by using such devices as timers and rain sensors that prevent them from deploying when not needed.
- Propane Gas: High capacity underground propane tanks can supply your home with a cost-effective source of clean-burning heat that is safe from high winds and bad weather. Use of tankless water heaters can also provide efficient usage of your heating dollars.
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