How to Build Green

The phrase "green building" is a common topic of conversation in builders circles today, and it generally refers to an eco-friendly home or building. There are many aspects to a building and when outfitted with eco-friendly materials, a home or structure can become a green building. Below are some ways homeowners or contractors can transform a home or building into a green building.



 

Insulation – The less energy used to heat and cool a home or building, the greener it is. Green buildings or eco-friendly buildings use proper insulation to naturally control the temperature within the home. The goal is to save money off the energy bill each month, which is a main part of what green building means. Strategically planting trees to shield windows from the sun's rays is another good idea to help control the temperature inside a home.

Solar Energy/Heating – Utilizing the sun's rays and the heat from the sun to generate electricity, or to heat water, definitely makes a home a green building. There are many types and sizes of solar energy panels available today that are priced to fit into most budgets. Although solar panels may be a large investment for some, setting up a solar water heating system can cost much less and will still save money off the energy bill each month.

Energy Saving Appliances – Saving energy is popular among homeowners and renters, and people are finding appliance manufactures that make energy saving washers, dryers and dishwashers that require less electricity than older models. A gas stove and a new energy saving electric oven can cumulatively lower a household's monthly electricity bill.

Reducing Water Use - Low flow water fixtures such as shower heads and low flush composting toilets can reduce yearly water consumption in a home, which is eco-friendly, and can put a home in the green building category. The landscaping surrounding can also be an area where water can be saved. Setting up a rain barrel to catch water that you can then use for your garden is one way to convert to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Some green building ideas include recycling dishwater and washing machine water to be used for washing vehicles or watering the lawn. This kind of recycled water is known as "graywater."

Alternative Flooring and Building Materials – The demand for hardwood flooring is a significant reason why the forests around the world are endangered. What green building means is that real estate builders choose beautiful alternative flooring such as bamboo wood, cork or concrete with pleasantly designed linoleum made from linen and other types of natural fibers. There are many ways to help preserve natural resources, thus making a home eco-friendly. One way is to use recycled building materials such as glass when possible. Decorative bathroom tiles can be made with recycled glass.

What green building means is to be conscious of all of the above mentioned aspects of a home and apply methods to save energy, water and use recyclable building material whenever possible. Working together with the global community, green building and living an eco-friendly lifestyle can make a big difference in the large picture of things. There are also tax deductible benefits for green building.



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