Environmental Choices for Your New Home
When you buy a home, it’s a good time to consider the environmental aspects of your home. There is a lot to think about—energy use and its effect on the environment; the quality of the indoor air and how it may influence your personal health and well-being; recycling and the preservation of natural resources.
There are many measures you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your home and increase its comfort and healthiness at the same time. Ask your professional new home builder about these energy-saving and environmental features.
- R-2000. An R-2000 certified home is 30 to 40% more energy-efficient than a conventionally built home and includes a number of “clean-air” features and materials with recycled content.
- High-efficiency (90%+) furnaces. Consider a high-efficiency heat pump if you use electricity for space heating. Look into “heating zones”. Install an automatic set-back thermostat if not included in the builder’s standard package.
- High-efficiency water heater. Also explore tankless “on-demand” water heaters and high-efficiency hybrid systems that combine hot water and space heating.
- Extra insulation in the basement, above grade walls and in attic areas.
- High-performance windows, with double or triple glazing, inert gas fill, insulating spaces and frames, low-E coating and low air leakage rating.
- Placement of windows to gain the most passive solar heat during winter months. Roof overhangs and/or deciduous tree plantings will block out solar heating during the summer.
- Energy-efficient lighting, including solar-powered (photovoltaic) lighting systems.
- Appliances with an Energy Star® rating.
- Heat or Energy Recovery Ventilator system (HRV or ERV) for whole-house ventilation.
- Pre-finished building components, e.g. hardwood flooring. Also, other hard-surface flooring that is easy to clean and doesn’t collect dust and dirt.
- No- or low-offgassing adhesives, paints and finishes.
- Low-off-gassing kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.
- Materials with recycled content—insulation, sheathing, drywall, shingles, decking and much more.
- Materials that optimize natural resources—finger-jointed trim and wall studs made from lumber cut-offs.
- Rainwater cistern for garden watering.
- Ecoscaping, including native plants and wood-waste mulching,
Professional new home builders are familiar with the latest technologies and products and can explain the “ins and outs” of any choice you may be considering—it benefits and implications for the construction process, schedule and price.
Get the home that truly satisfies your needs.