Yesterday’s “Green” is Today’s Standard

Owens Corning’s Pure Safety High Performance was the first insulation to earn and receive the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s certification.  It meets USDA BioPreferred guidelines while also achieving a certified minimum average recycled content of 65 percent.

Green building features, such as improved lighting, better air quality, and better connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, have been proven to positively impact health and wellbeing—things that are high on the list of just about every home buyer since the pandemic.

A “green” house doesn’t look different from any other well-designed house.  The differences are in the way the homes are built and how they perform.   They consume much less heating energy and that equates to lower utility bills, greater comfort, reduced maintenance, and ultimately increased value. Updating windows, insulation, lighting, toilets, faucets and appliances in your existing home can make it more “green,” and usually pose a quickly recouped return on investment

The third update of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS)  in 2020, has six green practice categories that align with important areas of sustainability:

  1. Site design, preparation, and development

A major goal of the program is to have low-impact development strategies and/or a green infrastructure designed to handle storm events.

  1. Resource efficiency

Required percentages of recycled materials, including precut, precast, and preassembled products are specified.

  1. Energy Efficiency

While foremost on most people’s minds when they think of energy efficiency are insulation and windows, don’t forget that the cost of heating water accounts for almost 20 percent of most household budgets.  Federal regulations require new storage tank water heaters to be more energy-efficient.  Energy efficiency also relates to lighting.

  1. Water efficiency

Modern toilets using a fraction of the water as previous models can save between 55% and 77% of your annual water consumption.  Smart lawn irrigation control systems can save an average home up to 15,000 gallons of water annually.  While standard shower heads use up to 8 gallons of water per minute,  modern low-flow shower heads use 1 to 2 gallons of water per minute. Today’s dishwashers use about 5 gallons of water per cycle — half the amount of water and energy that standard dishwashers consumed 20 years ago.

  1. Indoor environmental quality

A home that is clean and efficient with less dust is very important to the millions of people living with asthma, allergies and chemical sensitivities.  Avoiding the use of paints, adhesives, sealants, and other building materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is where it starts.  A next step is adding air filtration to ensure that air is free of pollens and particulates.

  1. The operation, maintenance, and education of homeowners

Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index scores are a conclusive way to compare one home to another in terms of energy usage. HERS scores are based on multiple variables that affect the energy efficiency of a home, including exterior walls, attic, windows and doors, heating and cooling systems, ductwork, water heating systems, lighting and appliances. Approximately one-fifth of all new homes built in the U.S. are HERS rated and data shows that HERS rated homes sell for an average of 2.7% more than comparable unrated homes.

Ultimately, yesterday’s “green” is today’s expectation as the bar is continually set higher to differentiate “green” homes from standard homes.

READ THE MORE IN-DEPTH ARTICLE ON GREEN BUILDING FROM BUILDING SAVVY MAGAZINE

Contact the sponsor of this page, Manorly Concierge Home Management to discuss a home management plan that meets your needs or the latest in home styles, maintenance, and best construction practices to consider if you plan to remodel your home or build a new one

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