How to Start Finding a Greener House
So you’re trying to find a new home, and you would like it to be as green and environmentally responsible as possible. Maybe it’s because you noticed that it is possible to save on utility bills if you experience an energy efficient home. Perhaps you dig on the appearance. Or you want to try to be an ethical consumer in the face of ecological concerns.
But there’s a lot to browse if you’re not so familiar with green building and sustainable structure. Here are only a few tips that will assist you get started with your search, whether it be for an apartment, a home or building lot; and whether it be a rural, suburban or urban setting.
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Ask questions, then ask more questions and even more particular questions
If there’s any one sweeping statement which can be produced about the green building industry, it’s the facts is in the details.
To the naked, untrained eye, it can be tricky to differentiate the green out of the “greenwash,” that is disinformation introduced to fake an environmentally responsible public image. The ideal way would be to ask about every detail you can think of, even in case you don’t know much about green construction.
Do as much research as you can think about. Ask the occupants for past utility invoices; ask the Realtor for official ecological certifications; ask the contractor about the detailing; ask the architect about ecological goals in the design; ask the neighbors about the climate and setting.
Once the information starts flood in, it is possible to assemble a sustainability portfolio for each site you are thinking about. By the end of your search, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision based on energy ratings, environmental certifications, scientific observations and first-hand experiences.
Stand on the site and spot the sun
One fundamental part of sustainable design is solar orientation. A construction that takes advantage of the sun’s warmth in winter and shades it in the sun’s rays in the summer is one step closer to efficacy. That is the reason why so many building energy simulations begin by requesting the ratio of window to wall in the northwest, south, east and west faces of the construction.
Everything you’re looking for will depend on your local climate. Do you want the house? Then make certain that there is nothing blocking the winter sun from shining through the windows.
Read about layouts that take advantage of the sun
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Do you want to keep your house cool in the summer? Then have a look at the external shading, not simply over the walls, but over the walls as well.
We use an app called Sun Surveyor whenever we’re assessing a site. It enables you to know where the sun rises, peaks and sets in most seasons comparative to your site. You may see where the sun will hide behind a neighboring looming or building mountain.
Does the site or building design make use of its setting?
A really sustainable home will be integrated with its surroundings and area in ways that go beyond its orientation toward the sun. The architectural design can provide you clues about how well the designer has responded to local construction procedures and materials.
Bear in mind that green dwelling goes beyond the property line. Does the house or building you’re considering take advantage of existing services and infrastructure, without infringing on virgin soil? Can it be well linked with public transportation, providing you the choice to green your commute as well? One fantastic resource for assessing a variety of areas in the U.S. is WalkScore, a site specializing in grading communities to get their pedestrian friendliness.
Does the home or apartment construction have any sort of energy efficacy documentation?
Here is where it might get tricky. There is a lot going on behind walls and beneath slabs that you may not immediately see, like such rainwater cisterns tied into an irrigation system for a Seattle home.
Certifications and other sorts of documentation about a house can be one way to find reliable information about what is going on.
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These days, you will find a lot of energy efficiency certifications floating about, some of these more reliable than others. They vary from entire building energy simulations to kitchen appliance ratings.
For a place to begin, I would ask any local, regional or state energy certifications to see whether the home you are looking at asserts any particular advantage over ordinary homes available on the market.
Afterward, of course, you’ll need to vet that certification strategy to be certain it actually has some substance to it.
You can do this by requesting a green construction professional to get a mini-consultation to assess the information that you’ve already been given. Or you can get your hands dirty and explore yourself.
There are also numerous third party voluntary certification schemes like LEED and Passive House (the two I work with most frequently), that require extensive documentation in order to get a certification. As soon as you ask for copies of that paperwork, you can learn far more about the advantages and weaknesses of this construction.
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In the end, you are the most important element in making a home green
we must begin thinking about our houses how we consider our electronics. We can’t only expect it to do everything for us ; we need to know how to utilize our houses correctly to find the best outcomes.
The more we all know why our home acts the way it does, the more we can begin to optimize its performance. And that is what green building is really all about: maximizing efficacy and sustainability.
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