Building Green Conserves Energy and Resources
Although many people think that green building means expensive, way-out designs and a return to purely natural materials, the real answer is using a best-practices approach and looking at the home as a complete, interactive system made up of many different parts.
It means producing a high-performance log home that really takes little or no extra effort or money to build, yet saves money immediately and in the long run with conserving energy and water. It can help free up a homeowner from endless maintenance projects and also preserve our resources for future generations.
Each and every part or module needs to be considered carefully to determine the optimum usage and best approach given the local environment, final usage and budget. Experts say the four mistakes that have the most effect on energy consumption are:
- Outside air infiltration
- Excess solar heat gain
- Improper house orientation
- Inefficient light fixtures and appliances
No green builder advocates using only natural materials. Some of the best energy efficient practices are improvements on nature and there's nothing wrong with mixing materials to achieve the best results.
There are numerous tips and ideas for building green that you can incorporate into your build without much difficulty. There are also six aspects to building green that the NAHB's National Standard references as being vital to a holistic approach towards a healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient structure. These are:
- Energy Efficiency
- Site Preparation and Design
- Water Efficiency/Conservation
- Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality
- Operation, Maintenance and Education
- Resource Efficiency
By carefully addressing these areas you will conserve resources and save money as well. To build truly green means making efficient use of building supplies, utilizing renewable materials as often as possible and promoting conservation of energy and resources. Green materials and practices must function at least as good as traditional materials and practices and must have a reasonable payback period in order to be adopted wholeheartedly.