This is an exciting time for green home construction and for green retrofitting a home. Green building trends offer some amazing opportunities to ensure a healthful, efficient home, and this year we'll see even more options than we have in the past. Benefits include energy savings through water and energy efficiency, better indoor air quality and reduced construction waste.
Some of the myths about green building and retrofitting are that it is complicated and expensive. It’s true that some go to great lengths to build their own efficient, off-grid home. But many can improve their current home with some of the ideas below.
Green ideas for retrofitting the inside of a home:
- Adding extra insulation
- Using energy-efficient appliances
- Installing energy-efficient windows
- Highly programmable thermostat installed
- Using recycled or up-cycled items for remodeling and décor (check out this article - includes shutter table pictured)
- Bringing in plants to filter the air in your home (best plants for air filtration)
- Turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use
Green ideas for outside the home:
- Utilizing a rain barrel to water your garden
- Diverting storm water to be infiltrated into your yard or landscaping instead of directly into storm sewers
- Planting trees that shade the building to alleviate some of the need for air conditioning
- Composting keeps your garbage scraps out of everyday waste and creates food for your garden
- Using worms instead of chemicals to fertilize your garden
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now requires new constructed homes to meet the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code in order for potential homeowners to be eligible for a conventional FHA-insured mortgage. So purchasing a newly built home means getting more green features in your home. Plus builders want to work with green-minded individuals in the home building process.
Green home construction practices:
- Building solar panels into the home during construction
- Utilizing roofing materials such as slate, terra cotta, white tiles, special membranes, and metal roofing reflecting the sun’s energy away from the roof, cools faster at night and holds less heat for less time to help reduce energy costs and usage (see roof types)
- Geothermal power is an option that involves a substantial up-front investment, but with it via the earth (think heat pump) you can heat and cool your home. (How it works)
- Use of recyclable and sustainable materials
- Green practices instilled in every phase from design to construction
We hope this article give you some ideas for ways to add more green features to your home. The Boehmer Team can connect you with a local green builder or find an existing green home for sale. Visit www.TheBoehmerTeam.com or call us today for assistance.