The Benefits of Sustainable Building

What is a sustainable home? Simply put: a home built according to certain green construction practices and standards beyond the guidelines of normal construction. A few types of homes that meet or exceed green building standards include passive houses, climate-positive homes, net-zero houses, high-performance homes, and green homes. Each has its own set of benefits, but as a whole, they each offer the following perks for environmentally conscious owners:

 

Designed for Energy Efficiency From the Get-Go

Most homeowners consider energy efficiency to be a top priority when investing in their sustainably built custom home. This requires architects, contractors, and designers to work together to create a high-performance home with energy efficient concepts throughout.

Solar installations and solar power systems are one commonly incorporated element that can save thousands in energy costs. Other special considerations include high-performance insulation, wholly enclosed heating and cooling elements and ducts, high quality flashing systems, breathable exterior drain wrapping, and dual or triple-paned windows with low U-values. These installations ensure that the home will meet the owner’s energy and sustainability goals from the start.

{Source: One Kindesign}

 

Air Quality Control for Healthier Homes

Sustainable homes are also designed to be ‘healthy homes’ with top-notch indoor air quality. They are constructed airtight to eliminate leaks that allow poor quality air to seep indoors. Using a balanced HRV—a heat recovery ventilation system—homes receive continuous supplies of filtered, fresh air 24/7. Furthermore, during construction, great care is taken by builders to use green products that are free of known carcinogens like VOCs and formaldehyde.

 

Reduce Environmental Footprint

A sustainable home is built with energy efficiency and longevity in mind from the foundation to the rooftop. During construction, substitutions in materials are made that consider both durability and sustainability. For example, wooden decks that require replacement every few years can instead be crafted with modern materials that outlast traditional wood.

These types of substitutions help reduce waste as well as the carbon emissions required to create, source, transport, and install replacement materials, allowing owners to rest easy knowing they have helped reduce their carbon footprint while building their dream home.

{Source: This Old House, "Green Upgrades Without the Sacrifice"

 

Advantageous Landscape Design

Sustainable homes built with the goal of being net-zero or climate positive can tap into the potential of the surrounding landscape in a number of ways. Incorporating solar power panels, green roofing, or wall systems can reduce cooling and heating costs. Designers can also take advantage of shrubs and trees to block winds and to create additional shade. Other sustainable landscape solutions include eco-friendly permeable surfaces to decrease rainwater runoff, advanced drip irrigation systems, and artificial grass or other ground cover substitutes to reduce water usage.

{Source: Gardenista | Photography: A+B Kasha}

 

Long-Term Savings with Final Touches

As construction winds down, it’s time to install energy efficient features that will help owners enjoy savings for years to come. Sustainable homes are typically outfitted with smart appliances that help reduce operating costs and typically have longer lifespans. The same holds true for one of the home’s biggest energy drawing systems: heating and cooling. High-efficiency HVAC equipment with a powerful air handling system can make a huge difference in long-term satisfaction and savings. Tankless water heaters and smart windows also make excellent final touches in any sustainable home.

 

Are you building a sustainable home? What's your favorite feature? We want to know—leave us a comment on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

 

Thank you to The Kris Lindahl Team for providing us with great content for this post!

 

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