Going Green

Going GreenOne major trend that has been seen in 2013 and 2014 is that more and more homes are going green and becoming more economical. In fact, the number of new homes with an emphasis on become green has doubled. Part of this is due to people’s concern for the environment, while another part of it is due to new regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has mandated triple-glazed windows. Let’s take a look at some other changes that are taking place:

• Recent Changes

– Since production of incandescent light bulbs ended in the beginning of 2014, new homebuilders have been forced to turn to alternative means of lighting. Once such example is LED lights. LED lights are actually cheaper and can illuminate an entire room without large lights on the ceiling or lamps.

– Another move towards going green is to change the water heaters in the home to make them more efficient. Many changes for energy efficiency have been made to save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year on water heating.

– In fact, homes that are more energy efficient and green are actually cheaper and simpler to build. This is because energy efficient homes are easier to execute than homes with renewable energy, and due to the more inexpensive homes being built as a result, power companies will be able to monitor energy in the homes and give rebates to homeowners who use up less energy.

– The increased number of more affordable and eco-conscious homes has led to great rewards in terms of both treating the environment well and saving money for homeowners. New homeowners are making more practical choices like installing tile that’s made out of recycled materials, or choosing wood floors that are made out of formaldehyde. The most recent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design specifications give points to homeowners who reveal what the materials in their homes are made out of. All in all, what we are seeing in new homes is something that we could have only dreamed about decades ago.

How green can your remodeling or new construction go?

If you are running a LEEDS project then you are already up to date on the latest innovations and products for creating a green project. If your project isn’t LEEDS, such as smaller commercial ventures or residential remodeling, there are still some important ways that you can keep it green. Green is about more than being environmentally responsible, it can be a huge selling point for a property as it the long term maintenance is often far more economical then with traditional building products. The initial outlay may seem more expensive, but it pays to be green in the long run.

Go green with the project organization

Take a page from the pros and look at your plans for organizing your project for where you can first implement your greening effect. You need to look at the cost of transporting items, staging and access to create a project path with the least amount of impact on the environment. Pay close attention to ventilation options for generators, washout procedures and more to work to keep your site in line with the latest environmental regulations, and to help preserve good community relations as well.

Greening the materials

green-constructionNext, you can choose materials that are made from recycled or re-purposed materials, products that are designed to last longer than traditional building products, and new building products made from innovations in plastics or metal that can save on wood. You should look to the packaging of consumables in your job as well. It can be worth it to make the call to switch to plastic tubs for brads rather than smaller boxes. That small change can make a big difference. Anywhere you can recycle, reclaim or just plain avoid generating waste is an area that you can now claim as green. One of the side benefits of supplying your materials and consumables with green products is it will radically reduce your disposal fees for waste during construction or remodeling.

Greening the structure life

Lastly, look to how you can incorporate structural elements that serve to prolong the life of the building and/or lessen its environmental impact. Water systems that recycle black water, solar panels with storage capacities and so on are all viable options.