Green Home Builder Give Ideas for Building Green
What make it Green? When asking what makes a house green or what is green construction many people are like deer in the head lights frozen by the thoughts of grass is green but houses are built with wood from trees so how can they be green. Or I’m not a member of Green Peace. Oh sure, I’m green I use CFL bulbs in my house and my toilets are low flush.
To build a house green it is necessary to look at the big picture and then the small details for the coo derga! The following is a list of things to consider from the site to the doorbell. If you truly want to be green then you must at least consider how these items will affect the greenness of your project today and for generations to come.
1. Site location and solar gain/lose
2. Plans, size and where in the house do you live and its orientation to the solar gain/lose. How well does it work with the lot or will you be fighting the grades during construction.
3. Lot clearing and soil disturbed during the construction process as well as erosion control.
4. Construction materials with regard to sustainability, durability, and local availability. A house built in SC using Cedar singles (durable) shipped from Canada (availability) would not be a good use of several natural resources. On the other hand, brick veneers made in Atlanta, GA used in SC are both durable and available. The brick also would fall into the category of sustainability because it can be recycled where as the cedar at the end of it’s life would have very little left to recycle.
5. Windows, size, location in the plans, minimum low-E glass
6. Framing techniques, use of value engineered framing to reduce waste, and increase exterior wall R values.
7. Plumbing materials, such as PEX piping for water line, rather then copper, PVC drain line rather then cast iron, low volume shower heads, low or duel flush toilets, and how about just shutting the water off while we shave or brush our teeth! Consider, solar hot water, tankless water heaters.
8. Electrical systems with energy star rated fixtures, appliances, stealth switches, or preprogrammed light switches set to only allow 80% maximum wattage to lights. Solar electric grid tie systems.
9. HVAC heating and cooling designed with regard to the site orientation, window sizes and solar exposure, duct sizing and equipment size and efficiency. As well, need for fresh air, conditioned and cleaned before introduction to the house.
10. Insulation, most importantly its instillation, how well are the bats’ installed, did you get the full 3-1/2" of spray foam in the wall cavity and are there also gaps. Did you put the DOE recommended amounts of insulation in the ceilings?
11. Exterior moisture protection, FLASHING and is it installed properly. House wrap, breathability of the exterior veneer.
12. Drywall, recycle the waste. Find a framer he may want the waste.
13. Paints and finishes, Low VOC
14. Finish materials, trim, flooring, carpeting and tile etc. Many good choices of recycled materials here and all three fall into the categories of sustainability, durability, and local availability.
15. Landscaping, local plants only please and they should be drought tolerant in SC
16. RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE! Develop a recycling plan for the project and see to it that you go over it with all the contractors and suppliers. It doesn’t take much effort to put recycling bins on the job and it will keep the site neat and clean.
17. Healthy living. A green house is a healthy house done right, done wrong it will be a sick house. Pay attention to the above and you will have a healthy house.
18. Dollars, who wouldn’t want more dollars in their pockets at the end of the month. A green house will have lower utility bills then a conventionally build house and again look at number 17, fewer allergens, fewer trips to doctors, more money in you pocket.
19. It the right thing to do for today and future generation.