A Built Green home is a home that has gone through the Built Green certification process and received a bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification. The Built Green certification process looks at the energy systems, materials, water conservation, and other aspects of the building.
The major benefits of a Built Green home can be classed into two categories; environmental and economical. Building a home is one of the largest decisions of our lives, Built Green homes give homeowners a fantastically well-built home that, throughout its life, will be a smart decision both financially and environmentally.
Built Green homes encourage the use of recycled and reclaimed materials. Using recycled and reclaimed materials means that there is less dependence on new materials being created for your home. These materials are often the product of intense practices to remove raw materials and fossil fuels from the earth. Using recycled or reclaimed material lowers our impact on the earth.
Built Green homes can harness the earth’s energy for their heating and energy systems. This allows the home to work alongside the earth, rather than using earth damaging fuels.
After being awarded your Built Green home, you can receive a plaque to proudly display on your home. This helps spread awareness about the certification and environmentally-conscious homes.
Environmentally conscious homes are also very economical. They have less dependence on expensive fossil fuels and more dependence on renewable and natural energy. This allows a home to be heated and run on much cheaper energy sources such as solar and geothermal.
Looking at figures from Built Green in The US, we can see that energy savings can range from 25-40% per year.
Built Green practices can be applied to every facet of homes. Considered choices of how to power your home right down to what lightbulbs to use, can have a big impact on getting your Built Green certification.
Switching over to an environmentally friendly energy and heating system is one of the best ways to achieve Built Green certification. While the initial financial outlay is more than traditional methods, the long-term financial and environmental benefits make it a worthy investment.
Solar energy is one of the cleanest energy forms and solar panels can be added to almost any home. Solar panels are a great way to power your electric car or create additional energy for your home.
Geothermal heat pumps can have a greater contribution to your homes energy systems than solar panels. Geothermal heat pumps get their energy from heat trapped in the earth. This heat is transferred to the pump where it can both heat and cool your home.
We can also make some smaller changes that help make our homes more environmentally friendly. Retrofitting traditional fireplaces with wood burning stoves and adding features such as flue dampers, heat exchangers and air vents can all make a big difference.
There are lots of great ways to finish your home with environmentally friendly fixtures and fittings. With a little bit of research, you can find items that will outlive and be more cost-effective than traditional ones.
Large appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers use up a lot of your home’s energy and contribute greatly to your utility bill. Choosing an appliance with a high EnerGuide rating will ensure that you have the most efficient appliance available.
Lighting can also put a large strain on our home’s energy usage. Older lighting technologies can have a short lifespan and have a high running cost. LED lights have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. They have a very long lifespan, are very efficient and give off a minimal amount of heat. They are also suitable for almost any lighting situation.
Using recycled and reclaimed materials is an important part of Built Green homes. Recycled and reclaimed materials can be used throughout the home. Concrete flooring can be made with recycled materials. Concrete flooring can also act as a thermal mass which helps maintain comfortable temperatures inside the home. A recycled, environmentally friendly temperature regulation system!
Reclaimed wood has been popular in homes for a while now, but did you know that it’s also environmentally friendly? Repurposing wood to make striking counter tops, statement coffee tables, and stunning shelves removes the need for producing new products, often from processes that harm the environment.
Energy efficient appliances are a brilliant choice for Built Green homes.
Well-insulated homes achieve a better Built Green certification than homes that are poorly insulated. Heat lost through walls, floors and roofs must be replaced by creating new energy. This constant stream of creating energy and heat that is lost, rather than used to it’s full potential is an extremely inefficient way to run a home.
Windows and window frames are amongst some of the least efficient parts of traditional homes. Glass allows for a large amount of heat to pass through them, while window frames that are not properly sealed and insulated also allow for a large amount of heat loss. This loss heat must then be replaced by creating new energy from the heating system.
New windows should be made from materials with low-E coatings and U-values less than 0.30. This helps keep the heat that has already been created inside the home. New windows can also be made with reclaimed materials.
Window frames should also be sufficiently insulated. Small cracks can allow for large amounts of heat to escape, which affects a homes Built Green certification. Existing window frames can be repaired to ensure that they close fully and seal properly. Window frames also give us another opportunity to use reclaimed and recycled material.
There are a whole host of things you can do that will bring you closer to Built Green certification.
Get in touch with RDC Fine Homes today and see how we can help you build your dream Built Green home!