Friday, April 20, 2007

A Green built Philosophy

The time has come for us as Building contractors, sub-contractors , vendors and homeowners to acknowledge the need for and the pursuit of the philosophy of building green. Our environment demands nothing less. We must embrace energy efficiency. We must utilize alternative sources of energy. It makes sense for our customers to enjoy life in their homes without fear of their next utility bill or whether their homes can withstand rain, snow and wind.

How do we get there? With education we can improve the homes we live in, the quality of life and the environment. All it takes is common sense and the commitment to Green Building. Here are the 6 guidelines that lay out the way to approach a project.

Lot Preparation and Design - Even before the foundation is poured, careful planning can reduce the home’s impact on natural features such as vegetation and soil; and enhance the home's long-term performance. Such preparation can provide significant value to the homeowner, the environment, and the community.

Resource Efficiency -  Advanced framing techniques and home designs can effectively optimize the use of building materials. There should be an effort to reduce construction waste by efficient use of building products, recycling unused materials and where possible use recycled contents products.

Energy Efficiency – This is the most quantifiable aspect of green building. The information in this section will help a builder create a better building envelope and incorporate more energy efficient mechanical systems, appliances, and lighting into a home, yielding long-term utility bill savings and increased comfort for the homeowner.

Water Efficiency/Conservation - Although, the relative importance of water availability and usage varies from region to region, the concern with adequate supply is becoming more widespread geographically. Experience also shows that employing the line items from this section of the Guidelines for indoor and outdoor water use can reduce utility bills, regardless of location.
Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environment Quality - Effective management of moisture, ventilation, and other issues can create a more comfortable and healthier indoor living environment.
Operation, Maintenance and Education - Given the level of effort a home builder goes through to create a well thought out home system, it would be a shame not to give the home owner guidance on how to optimally operate and maintain the house. Line items from this section show a builder how best to educate homeowners on the features of their new green home.            Thanks to NAHB’s Voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines