Green home construction is a very popular topic, but what is it? What makes green home construction green? The fact is that there is no central standard for exactly what green construction is, but there are certain principles and categories for green construction, therefore all green construction must implement at least one of these principles: Water saving, energy saving, energy producing, using local materials, or using natural, recycled, or other non standard building materials. Let’s go over these principles in detail.
Green Home Construction Principle: Energy Saving
Saving energy in construction can involve use of extra insulation (having a good R Factor), and passive solar techniques which keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer with less electricity. High R factors can be achieved by using triple pane glass, and heavy insulation. Passive solar principles can also reduce the electric bill. Glass walls facing south can make a difference. Point of use hot water heaters are also green, and save a lot on the power bill in most cases. Another green energy saving trick is to make the home smaller. Smaller homes are more energy efficient and much less expensive to build. Just using energy efficient appliances can constitute green construction, as does the use of energy efficient lighting.
Green Home Construction Principle: Water Saving
Several interesting water saving inventions for home use could be incorporated in green construction, including incinerator toilets, designed to conserve water, and improve water purity. Dual flush toilets are more common and popular. Dual flush allows the flusher to determine whether they need a big flush or a little flush. In addition there are shower heads which save water, by providing a finer spray. There are also inventions which filter water which can be added to the kitchen faucet for better water purity.
Green Home Construction Principle: Energy Producing
Solar homes are among the most practical of green building techniques. The new photovoltaic solar panels use both the heat and light from the sun to produce even more electricity than conventional solar panels. In many areas solar panels can be incorporated into the power grid, so that excess energy is sold back to the power company, causing the meter to run backwards. Some people actually get a check back from the electric company. This would help pay your house payment so it’s a great idea!
Solar energy is also a relative term, and one should shop carefully for a solar home building company. Do not be fooled by outdated methods, solar energy is a cutting edge science, and you should get the latest design in new solar panels. The photovoltaic technology is very new and many contractors are still trying to sell off the old panels, which are not nearly as efficient.
Green Home Construction Principle: Local Materials
Many green home builders are stressing the importance of buying locally to save gas used by truckers. Others want you to make sure your building materials did not come at the expense of a rain forest or other international forest of great value, or that it was not part of a clear cutting operation. It may pay off for the environment if enough people find out where their lumber is coming from, but it would have nothing to do with any specific benefit to you or the house.
Green Home Construction Principle: Recycled, Natural and other Non Standard Building Materials
Non standard building materials is a fascinating subject that is fun to research. Such materials as Portland cement with coal ash incorporated can save money. Ferro Cement is another fascinating material for building which, provided you can clear your plans with building inspectors, can save you a bundle on costs, and provide an energy efficient structure which will endure for centuries. Ferro Cement is great because it can be used to create curved shapes, and various odd angles that would be impossible with traditional construction. Adobe is also a great building material for dry arid climates, but won’t work well in humid ones. Straw is also something that only works in dry climates.
Gaining approval for uncommon building materials is often difficult. Unfortunately old codes and standard regulations do not change as quickly as we would like. It is sometimes hard to get anyone to even listen when you have a brilliant idea for using a non standard material for home building. Contractors and home builders may chuckle and building inspectors may get a worried frown, and walk away shaking their heads, but if it is important to you, keep trying. Green home building is enjoying a rapid increase in popularity, and it could be that your brain child could create a whole new standard for building in the future. Keep looking till you find a building contractor who understands your passion. Do not give up on your green home construction dream.
Let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered…
1. Saving energy in construction can involve use of extra insulation (having a good R Factor), and passive solar techniques which keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer with less electricity.
2. Several interesting water saving inventions for home use could be incorporated in green construction, including incinerator toilets, designed to conserve water, and improve water purity.
3. Solar homes are among the most practical of green building techniques. The new photovoltaic solar panels use both the heat and light from the sun to produce even more electricity than conventional solar panels.
4. Many green home builders are stressing the importance of buying locally to save gas used by truckers.
5. Non standard building materials is a fascinating subject that is fun to research
6. Get as educated as you can on green building and overall home building. Download the free New Home Steps Guide above and become smart on home building from start to finish.
I hope you found this article on green home construction useful. Let me know if you have any questions.