In recent years, construction of new homes has begun to pick up again as the national economy recovers from the Great Recession. This presents an amazing opportunity for the housing market to make widespread, much-needed changes to the ways buildings are constructed that would emphasize sustainability, low environmental impact and energy efficiency.
But what, exactly, do these terms mean in the context of home construction, and how can the average person looking to build a new house do so in such a way that allows them to maintain their green lifestyle without making major sacrifices in comfort or cost?
The first thing to consider is the procurement of sustainable building materials. Lots of components make up the home, from drywall, lumber and piping to electrical wire, paint and concrete. A responsibly built home will have been made from as many recycled materials as possible. For example, hardwood flooring can often be found on sites like Craigslist as contractors will sometimes buy more than they need when re-flooring a house. Recycled concrete can be used for some aspects of home building, though this is more limited.
Another important factor in green building is the efficiency of the structure. Rather than simply incorporating Energy Star appliances and installing double-paned windows (both of which are good ideas), residents should also consider how windows and doors can be positioned to allow for cross ventilation, thus eliminating the need for an AC unit in the summer.
These are just a few of the things you may want to keep in mind if you're thinking about the possibility of building a new home. Keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com for more information on going green and sustainable building.