There is a great section on the Built Green FAQ page that I have turned into a handout when I meet with home buyers (or builders) that is a TOP TEN list for why to buy a Built Green™ home.
I rephrase that to “any green home”, since there are additional programs now available that make a home green. And this top ten list of why people should buy a green home is the same for people thinking about building a green home. You just can’t go wrong with better health, reduced operating expenses, and a more positive effect on the environment during the construction phase of the home.
It is true that green, healthy homes tend to run a little smaller in total square footage and cost just a little bit more on a per square foot basis. But I will argue that the justification for a smaller and more efficient home is worth the added cost. And I am not saying that because I sell real estate. I personally bought a 3-Star Built Green Certified Home in the Built Green Certified Community of High Point in West Seattle. I walk the walk.
Contractors in King and Snohomish Counties already build to some of the toughest energy, air quality, stormwater management, and water efficiency standards in the nation. Based on choices by the builder and homeowner, Built Green™ goes beyond even these standards to give you added value, added peace of mind. Following, in no particular order, are ten reasons to buy a Built Green home:
More Money In The Piggy Bank
A Built Green home typically saves money on operating costs because of more efficient energy use with such features as extra insulation, more efficient water heaters, lighting and appliances, and the use of natural daylighting techniques. Many Built Green features save money on construction costs up-front.
Less “New” Odors and Better Indoor Air
Using low-VOC and low-toxic interior paints and finishes can reduce toxins, thereby increasing indoor air quality in a home. Carpeting can be tacked rather than glued with adhesives that can off-gas over time. Mechanical ventilation can be improved by installing a “positive” system that exhausts indoor air at a slightly slower rate than fresh air is brought inside. Improving indoor air can be especially helpful for residents with sensitivities to allergens.
Saves Old-Growth Forests
Rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo, wheatgrass, cork and strawboard can be managed, grown and harvested in a sustainable way, and can effectively replace lumber from old-growth trees. Engineered lumber uses smaller pieces of fast-growing wood to obtain the same sizes and higher strengths as lumber milled from large old-growth forests. Plastic lumber made from recycled plastic jugs can also be used for decking, sills and siding — replacing what are traditionally wood products.
Water conservation can be achieved by installing drought tolerant plants and less lawn in landscaped areas. Porous paving can be used in driveways and walkways to allow rainwater to seep into the ground instead of running off. Strict erosion control methods are used to help reduce sedimentation into streams, and natural features of a site can be protected. All of these measures benefit salmon habitat.
More Couch Potato Time
It takes less work and resources to maintain certain materials in a home. For example, siding, decking and trim made from plastic lumber needs little or no painting. Durable materials such as stone, tile and slate last longer and therefore need replacement less often.
Reduced Breezes Inside The Home
A home can be sealed against the outside elements with advanced caulking that goes beyond basic practice. Typically, exterior walls are caulked around windows and doorframes, and on interior walls where they intersect with exterior ceilings. Air sealing can be checked for effectiveness with an optional “blower door” test.
Healthier Yard with Homegrown Topsoil
During construction of a house or development, the topsoil that is removed for grading can be stockpiled and, later, reapplied to the site for healthier soils. Soil amendments can be added, such as compost, to further promote a good soil for plantings that will have a better establishment.
Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuels & Promotes Cleaner Air
By promoting the use of local materials, transportation and other costs can be reduced. By including pedestrian access and access to mass transit, projects can encourage the decreased use of automobiles, thereby reducing our foreign oil consumption and helping maintain cleaner air outdoors.
Built Green builders and remodelers post jobsite recycling plans and recycle as much as possible of scrap building materials such as lumber, wall board, concrete, cardboardand packaging. They can also incorporate many materials that contain recycled content or have been salvaged. This helps reduce the amount of material going to our already overburdened landfills.
Promotes Businesses Committed To “Green”
The member companies of Built Green include lenders with special financing for Built Green homes; product manufacturers of durable, recycled content, non-toxic, energy-efficient and recyclable materials; service providers of utilities, engineering, consulting, real estate, interior design and home maintenance; builders and remodelers who are willing to not only build green but to go to the extra effort and cost to have their projects certified as Built Green; architects who can design a green home with you every step of the way; and our local governments that are committed to protecting the quality of life for all of us!
If you decide to buy
If you think a green home is for you, be sure to work with a green home professional. I am a Built Green Certified Professional Real Estate agent, and recently changed agencies to be able to provide more green services to my clients. I am happy to be with GreenWorks Realty, the very first real estate company in the USA to focus on green and healthy homes. Bleeding edge, baby!
Photo and “Top Ten” List Source: BuiltGreen.net