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David and Marlene Macbeth

Top 5 Ways to Build a Green Home

Top 5 Ways to Build a Green Home

Most of us know that adopting an environmentally conscious or “green” approach to life can benefit the planet and its future generations. But did you know that greening your home can also benefit your bottom line in terms of energy savings and tax credits?

I’ve learned a lot of the latest green building strategies from clients and home builders I deal with as a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. I thought I’d share some innovative green building ideas from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB, in case there’s a remodel or new-home build in your future:

1. The roof. According to NAHB, 75% of new homes use “oriented strand board” (OSB), an engineered wood product that does not require the use of large trees in its production, to sheathe roofs and walls. Additionally, durable roof coverings, such as steel and fiber cement, reduce the need for roof replacement and are a key part of many solar roofing products that lock in heat during winter and help keep homes cool in summer.

2. The windows. Energy-efficient windows that incorporate advanced technologies like low-emittance glass coatings, keep heat inside in winter and outside in summer. “Passive” solar design features like large, south-facing windows, also help heat the home in the winter and allow for abundant natural lighting.

3. The walls. Vinyl siding on exterior walls saves money on installation and maintenance; fiber-cement siding is termite- and water-resistant and warrantied to last 50 years. Increasing the amount and R-value of insulation is a cost-effective way to save energy and help reduce heating and cooling bills, which account for at least half of all energy use in the home.

4. The outside. “Xeriscaping,” or using native plants, can significantly reduce the need for watering, fertilizers and herbicides, and preserving trees on your property reduces energy costs by providing shade in summer and a wind barrier in winter. Also consider a covered entry for your front door, which can help prevent water intrusion and costly repairs.

5. The appliances. According to NAHB, the energy efficiency of refrigerators and freezers has tripled over the last three decades. Front-loading washers use about 40% less water and half the energy of conventional models. New toilets have redesigned bowls and tanks that use less water, while advanced shower and sink faucet aerators provide the same flow regardless of reduced water use.
Please consider the above green building ideas for your next construction project and forward this e-mail to anyone else who may be in construction mode. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or point you toward further green resources, so feel free to e-mail me for more information.
Published Thursday, May 6, 2010 10:54 AM by Marlene Macbeth

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