GREEN BUILDING BENEFITS FOR HOMEOWNERS & HOMEBUYERS
Incorporating green building products and practices in homebuilding and remodeling projects results in quality homes and financial savings for you. Even the smallest effort can make a big difference. While particular benefits will vary depending on the specific choices made by the builder and homeowner, and to what extent green building practices are employed, the general benefits are:
Green building construction practices and products make homes more energy efficient through proper, adequate insulation and air sealing. Efficient windows, appliances, lighting and other household equipment also help add to the savings and keep your monthly electricity bills up to 65% lower! With high-energy prices on the rise and non-renewable fuels being depleted, an energy-efficient home is an asset we can all appreciate for years to come. Water bills are also reduced through low-flow equipment and thoughtful land use.
Homes built following green building standards may also quality for special “green” financing called Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), which allows for more purchasing power.
Comfortable with year-round sun exposure, comfortable with ambient temperature and lack of drafts, comfortable with your utility bills – “comfortable” can mean a lot of things. Starting with good energy design, green building helps to ensure that your home is inherently more comfortable. Better insulation and energy efficient windows, appliance and lighting contribute to a comfortable environment for everyone, while using less energy.
Chemicals emitted from building materials can be a potential source of health problems if they are not properly addressed. For example, cabinets, counter tops, and furniture are often made from pressed wood products such as particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which are typically manufactured with formaldehyde-based adhesives. This formaldehyde can off gas into your home for years. Paint and floor finishes can also contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that are not healthy to breathe, especially for small children. Green building encourages use of products and materials that reduce or eliminate these sources of indoor pollution. These include a wide range of products such as low-VOC paint, solvent-free adhesives and water-based wood finishes that not only eliminate many of the suspected and know carcinogens, but often perform better than traditional products.
Ventilation is key to keeping and maintaining indoor air quality for healthier living. Green building practices encourage well-sealed duct systems sealed combustion gas appliances, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and a balance or slightly positive pressure ventilation system, which work together to improve indoor air quality and keep you comfortable and healthy.
Adequate ventilation is especially important in green building as it can reduce the potential for mold growth and buildup of allergens and other particulates.
LESS MAINTENANCE AND HIGHER DURABILITY
Current building codes establish minimum construction standards that protect your safety. Green building supplements building codes y using premium materials that are more durable as well as construction practices that often exceed building code requirements. Together, these qualities enhance your home’s performance and reduce maintenance and replacement costs, thereby raising its overall value.
Examples of such long-lasting materials and their applications include decking made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, durable tile or linoleum flooring, 50-year roofing materials and fiber-cement siding. These can out-perform their traditional counterparts by reducing maintenance and replacement costs.
KNOWING YOU’RE BEING GOOD TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Green building products and practices offer you the assurance that you are following environmentally friendly guidelines that help preserve our natural resources. A socially responsible step worth of recognition, building green makes a strong statement about your dedication to the community and the environment.
Impacting more than your home itself, green building promotes the use of local products and materials that help stimulate local businesses and a diverse economy. This keeps your dollars working in you neighborhood and reduces energy consumption because there are fewer transportation costs. Materials like engineered wood products are encourages because they efficiently make use of waste wood pieces, reducing environmental impacts of the wood industry. Recycled-content products productively use materials that would otherwise need to be hauled to landfills, and also reduce costs and impacts of producing products from virgin materials.
Green building is not a passing trend. Informing and education you, the California homeowner, about the value of green building standards are important. We believe that through education we can all make a difference that will improve the way we live today…and tomorrow.