What Makes a Home "Green"?
Despite the fact that the term "green" has become a household term in the construction and design industries, it is not always clear what it means. As far as eco-friendly dwellings go, there are some rules, but the term "green" itself isn't defined in any meaningful sense. For example, how can a buyer know that the "green" property they're considering actually had an ecological focus or at least enough of one to warrant the price?
One of the prerequisites for environmentally friendly housing is better insulation. To be truly energy efficient, a property should be insulated above and beyond the minimum standards in the area where it is located. Examples include floor insulation that is sometimes incorporated into the concrete base. In addition to insulating the walls, floors, and ceilings, it is recommended that the windows also be done. Windows with dual panes or vinyl frames are therefore soon becoming the standard for "green" homes.
It is important to keep the house's energy efficiency at a high level. The environment benefits greatly from water-saving toilets with several flushing options. Using these options, you can flush solid trash more quickly, while liquid waste is flushed more carefully. It is possible to incorporate water-saving technologies into shower heads, washing machines, faucets, and dishwashers without affecting their usefulness. All equipment in the home, including air conditioners, refrigerators, and heaters, should be as energy-efficient as possible. Additionally, if practical, LED lights or CFLs should be utilized to illuminate the home.
The use of non-toxic or at least less-toxic materials is a need for "green" homes in addition to energy efficiency. Make sure that the paint in your new home is low-VOC. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are contaminants generated during the application of conventional paint. White or off-white walls are better for the environment since they produce fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is due to the fact that the paint base is tested for quality, yet some pigments are difficult to remove VOCs.
Another eco-friendly finishing touch is the use of bamboo or cork flooring. The quick growth of bamboo has made it a popular material. It takes around five years for bamboo to grow large enough to be used for flooring.. It can be worn in a variety of ways and in a variety of colors and designs. Sustainable harvesting of cork ensures that the cork tree, which replaces its cork bark every year, is not harmed during the process of harvesting the cork. For a floor that's both attractive and warm, cork may be the best choice.
Lastly, eco-friendly homes will use more natural fibers like wool and cotton for carpets or window coverings.
Outside the house, there's plenty of room for "green" considerations. Xeriscaping is a trendy landscaping technique that uses native plants from the area to create a more natural look. In contrast to lawns and flowerbeds full of exotic flowers, these plants are naturally drought-resistant and require less watering and upkeep.
Penetrable paving stones are a new "green" trend in landscaping. Groundwater is returned to the source after being naturally filtered by the earth. Toxic runoff can be generated as water pours over cement and into drains, conveying oil and exhaust waste into the drainage system, which finally ends up in a nearby body of water.
If a house is touted as "green," don't be hesitant to ask the builder about some of these features. If they don't live up to your expectations, don't buy it.