Embrace Building Green

When you think of a sustainable house, what comes to mind might be people living off the grid in a tiny house with solar panels. In reality, most of us live in old homes that need lots of renovation and loving care. Renovations are the best way to embrace building green. Reusing a building or materials whenever possible, makes the most sense. Sometimes, you own land or have to tear down and build new. Lucky you!  Home building is by nature a very personal process.  Whether you are renovating or building new; you owe it to yourself to find a design and build team who knows what is possible with today’s building materials and technology. Basic building code is a wasted opportunity because we can build better, we must build better. So, what does building green even mean?

To compare, in a standard building package you will most likely get building practices that meet code and maybe the house is called “efficient” in that it incorporates Energy Star Rated appliances and energy efficient windows.  However, the bigger the house, the bigger the utility bills and impact on the environment.  

{Zephyr Manor - a NET 12 energy rated and Viridiant Certified Home}

In contrast, the outcome of “building green” is effective rather than efficient. Efficiency is a given. It aims to do right by the environment and save money in the long run simultaneously. Building green maximizes the integration of sustainable methods and best building practices. It is a whole-house systems approach, which I like to call a “holistic approach” to meeting a client’s diverse needs and goals through a strong commitment to technology and advanced building methods.  This approach is becoming more practical as the costs of alternative energy technologies decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.  The benefits of a holistic approach and a green home are:

  • Reduced utility and maintenance costs

  • Increased comfort

  • Reduced noise

  • Healthier and safer indoor environment - minimizes off-gassing from building materials and furnishings

  • Improved building durability and disaster resiliency

  • Integrated technology/smart systems

  • Renewable energy systems (e.g. solar panels that generate electricity and heat water sources like geothermal heating)

There are many options for producing and conserving energy resources in a building (e.g. energy, water, waste). I will be writing about each of these topics in this blog and hope to share with you my lessons learned in my design projects, especially Zephyr Manor, a 7,000 sq. ft home that is a testament to the fact that luxury living can be energy efficient and sustainable. 

Contact me for a home you’ll love.

Be Well,
XO

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