Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What does Green Building Mean?

Quick update on costs. Costs are still coming down slowly, and should hold until things turn around. Who knows when the turnaround will happen, but the savings will not last forever.

What does Green Building mean?

Everyone is hearing a lot about green building, and most people want to help the environment. However, when it comes to planning a green home, there are almost too many choices, and it is difficult to decide what green components are best to use. Green building includes energy efficiency, sustainable products, better air quality, use of local manufactured/grown products, and use of natural materials. It also includes the size, design, and location of the home on the lot. Some green products have a short pay back, others may never provide the full payback, but are more eco friendly. Also, some are low cost while others can get very expensive. A smaller house requires fewer materials to build and less electricity to run. However, the home still needs to meet your requirements, so there may need to be some trade offs.

So how do you decide what products or techniques are best? It takes planning and deciding what areas are most important to you. Some things like energy efficient construction that provides a pay back in utility savings are almost a no brainer. Others such as wool carpets, which are more eco friendly but expensive, take more thought. Your budget will play a large role in what can be done, along with careful planning up front when the plans are being done. We can talk through what products are best for our climate, and what may not work here. That way we can help provide choices along with rough costs so that you can make educated decisions on what is best for your project.

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