The first decision you have is if you want to build your home following green principles and ideas or if you want it to be certified to a national standard.
- Certification requires some additional costs and verifications.
- Certification standards may have different ideas than you about what is “green.”
- Certification can add value to your home, during appraisal or resale.
- Certification may qualify you for $$$$ incentives.
There are two primary national green standards, the National Green Building Standard and LEED for Homes. The National Green Building Standard was designed from the ground-up for residential construction. LEED started for commercial buildings. NGBS is an ANSI consensus standard, LEED decides their own standards.
What Makes A Home Green?
The National Green Building Standard program recognizes the following values. Each home is inspected and verified by a qualified independent company to make sure it meets the standards.
Responsible lot and site development.
The home is positioned to take advantage of heat and light from the sun. Natural site features are preserved and protected wherever possible.
Appliances, insulation, doors, windows, heating and air-conditioning and the home’s design work together to conserve energy resources and reduce utility bills.
Water heaters, toilets, faucets and drought-tolerant landscaping conserve water inside and out.
Materials are selected for durability, origin, and recycled content while waste-management strategies reduce the environmental impact of the home’s construction.
Indoor environmental quality
Appropriate ventilation techniques, along with paints, sealants and adhesives made without harmful compounds help improve a home’s indoor environment for the entire family.
Knowing how to operate and maintain a green home is just as important as building one!
When building a green home, consider incorporating Universal Design principles to make your home easier for everyone everyday. After all, what is the purpose of building a beautiful energy-efficient, environmentally friendly home if you can’t live in it in the future because it was not designed to be an enabling environment?