An Introduction to Green Building
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think “green home”? To many, it’s things like Energy Star rated, solar power, geothermal, recycled wood and many other eco-friendly materials and features. The truth is green materials are not what makes green homes sustainable. Please don’t misunderstand, green materials are an integral part of a green home, but they are not what lies at the heart of green building. The key to a successfully built green home lies in its construction and design.
Energy efficiency is what it’s all about and it lies at the root of the vast majority of green building projects. The house should use as little energy as possible. Whenever possible, renewable energy should be used instead of non-renewable energy (carbon-emitting fossil fuels). Promoting airflow and ventilation, while at the same time preventing hot or cold air from escaping will lead to immediate savings in hydro costs and a more comfortable living space.
The term “air-tight home” describes a house that prevents thermal loss because there is very little air leakage. We will dig deeper on this subject in many future blogs. This area of green building will have the greatest impact on reducing energy usage and costs, and it is the cornerstone of sound green building.
Conservation of Natural Resources
When I say conservation of natural resources, I’m specifically referring to sustainability. Strong, long-lasting materials that don’t break down as quickly as traditional materials require less maintenance, produce less waste and have a low environmental impact. Recycled and fast-replenishing building materials, such as recycled glass and bamboo, are also part of a well-designed green home.