Friday, 22 September 2017

Green Homes More Than a Trend

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 15 August 2006 00:00

The pulse for green homes has increased dramatically in the last year. From a low whisper to a roaring engine, green is growing, and it's much more than a trend. With rising energy prices in 2006 to widespread climate awareness, home buyers are looking to be eco-friendly at home.

Green homes are defined as those that have lower than historic levels of environmental impact. Here are some tips on going green.

  • Use building materials from recycled products.

  • Install low-flow shower heads and water saving toilets.

  • Buy lumber that doesn't come from old-growth timber.

  • Use high-efficiency windows that feature double panes with low-E coatings.

  • Utilize paints and carpets with no or low odor ratings.

  • Recycle building debris.

  • Research renewable energy sources that cut reliance on fossil fuels. Solar panels, thermal and wind technology have come along way in the last couple of years.

  • New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Oregon offer green building tax credits and are among many states and municipalities that offer incentives to those involved in going green.

  • Green communities feature: mass transit, community infrastructure that reduces miles traveled, local health and social services, walk-able options for recreation and shopping needs, and accessible bike paths.

  • Lifestyles of the health and sustainability consumer or LOHAS are a significant housing niche that are motivated by values of personal, social and environmental well-being. They form the foundation of the rise in green building.

  • Energy efficient mortgages (EEM) or green mortgages are available to home buyers who purchase energy efficient homes. The rationale behind these mortgages is the energy savings from a green home is converted to income for the borrower. Some borrowers can qualify for a more expensive home if it is green.

  • Look for the LEED certification. It provides assurances that it meets guidelines by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is a rating system for environmental sustainability. Buildings are rated on their energy efficiency and consumption, environmentally friendly features and the use of local supplies to cut transport costs and energy use to the job site.
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