Green Home Building: Money-Saving Strategies for an Affordable, Healthy, High-Performance Home

According to conventional wisdom, building a green home is an expensive endeavor. The standard approach treats green as an add-on, tacking “premium” products, finishes, and equipment onto a traditional home design. As a result, many green home projects end up over budget or fail to achieve their environmental and performance goals.

Green Home Building explodes the myth that green homes have to cost more. Using proven methods based on applied building science, the authors show how to:

* Lower base construction costs to provide funding for high performance upgrades
* Achieve a net-zero energy home, including “zero-ing” water, waste, carbon, and associated costs within fifteen years
* Live affordably into the future, despite anticipated rising costs for fuel, water, materials, taxes, and health care

This comprehensive guide to building green on any budget defines the strategies that maximize the return on green investments. Written for anyone who has ever been swayed by the argument that the price tag limits how green a home can be, Green Home Building is a must-read for builders, contractors, architects, designers, and homeowners.

Miki Cook is a green building and sustainability consultant who has dedicated her career to educating contractors and the public on the strategies, methods, and benefits of green homes.

Doug Garrett has trained thousands of homebuilders, architects, and sub-contractors to build energy-efficient homes using applied building science to improve comfort, durability, and healthfulness while meeting or exceeding the energy code.

Community Review

  • The term “green energy” is used a lot these days in the news and in business. However, you may not know exactly what is meant by the term. Green energy is any type of energy from a sustainable resource, such as the sun or wind. Read on to find out more about green energy and how it can work for you.

    If you are interested in saving energy, utilize the warm summer months to help you dry your clothes. Forgo the use of your dryer, and hang your wet items out in the bright sunlight. Not only will you save energy, but your clothes will smell fresh and feel wonderful.

    Take the time to dry your clothes naturally. The dryer in your home takes up a lot of energy and it is quite simple to just hang your clothes and allow them to air dry. If you do need to use the dryer, then be sure to clean out the lint to help it work more efficiently.

    Set your computer so that it goes to sleep when you are not using it for more than 10-15 minutes at any given time. While most people believe that screensavers save energy they do not, and should not be used as an alternative to placing your computer in a sleeping state.

    If you clean your dishes using a dishwasher, refrain from doing a load until the dishwasher is completely full of dishes. Dishwashers do not allow for minimizing water or power consumption. It is the same, full or not. Using the air-dry setting will save energy when you run the dishwasher.

    For green energy consumption, you might want to consider an alternative source for your power needs like solar power. If you live in an area with high sunlight year round, you can install these solar panels on your roof and supply parts of your home with this free and clean energy from the sun.

    Air flow can be better controller when stormed windows and doors are installed in a home. Storm doors and windows decrease cold air from drafts. Homes which have stormed windows and doors increase their energy efficiency by as much as 45% which also ends up costing you a lot less on your utility bills.

    Try sealing gaps underneath your doors and windows during the summer and winter. This can prevent the warm or cool air from outside from entering your home, which will help keep your home at a good temperature all year. You could also try putting in rugs to provide more insulation to your floorboards.

    You do not have to leave your electronics behind to live a green lifestyle. Recharge your electronics with solar chargers and you no longer have to be concerned with your electronics being a drain on the environment. It is a small investment that pays off quickly in electric bills and a guilt-free conscience.

    A high-efficiency furnace becomes far less efficient with a clogged, dirty filter, so change your furnace filters often. This is especially important if you use tightly-woven pleated filters, because the HVAC system must work much harder to draw in air through its tiny openings. Most filters need to be changed or cleaned at least once every 3 months.

    As you can see, there are many different types of “green energy” technologies. Because there are so many options, there is bound to be a way to put “green energy” to work for you, while doing your part for the future of the planet. Use the information that you’ve learned in this article, in order to make an informed choice for your personal energy needs.

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