Building a path beyond green

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A path beyond green

With mounting concerns about rising energy costs and the continued depletion of non-renewable resources, buzzwords such as sustainable development, green building, and eco-friendly design are becoming mainstream.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, buildings account for:

These days, we’re going beyond the basic concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle. We are balancing a sensitivity to the environment with economic and social values. It’s not just about buying recycled glass tiles, if those tiles have to be driven 3,000 miles across the country. The gas used to bring them to you can far outweigh the benefits gained from buying a recycled product.

What is a Zero Energy home?

A net-zero home creates as much or more energy than it uses every year. This includes the energy used to heat the home, domestic hot water, lights, appliances and daily living needs. Some ways this is achieved include:

  • Minimizing and recycling waste in construction process;
  • Good insulation;
  • Nontoxic interior finishes (low VOC paint, sealants, and carpeting);
  • Components made from renewable resources (such as cork or bamboo floors, wheatboard cabinetry);
  • Recycled components (such as recycled glass tiles, recycled-content countertops);
  • Energy-efficient appliances (Energy Star rated refrigerator, dishwasher, water heater, etc.);
  • Solar panels;
  • Water-efficient appliances and landscape irrigation (front-loading clothes washers and moisture-sensing irrigation systems);
  • Storm water collection (rain barrels or larger cisterns);
  • Careful placement of shade trees;
  • Careful placement of windows to maximize interior light and ventilation;
  • Geo-thermal heating systems.

Built to last

Green homes are built to last. Products that have to be replaced in a short period of time create waste and extra carbon footprint. At JADA Homes, we know what products are worth the investment to achieve your environmental goals.

The big myths

It’s expensive

Some things do cost more. Many cost less. If planned from the beginning, it’s easier and less expensive to incorporate features that significantly lower operating and maintenance costs. It’s about balancing initial cost vs the long-term savings/benefits.

It’s ugly

A green home can be built to look just like any other home. As an industry, green building is expected to top $170 billion US in 2015, which will only continue to drive for improved product selection and design.

It doesn’t work

In general, sustainably-built houses tend to be more energy-efficient, more durable, and less costly to maintain. Like any conventional product, you need to research the products being used to make sure they won’t fail at their task.