There are Many Options when Building Green
What is a green home? The buzzword normally means a home built or renovated with sustainable materials (building materials that take into account ecological and environmental principals) and feature highly efficient windows and appliances. In the case of appliances you may have heard or seen the Energy Star Rating. Energy Star is a government backed program devoted to helping consumers and businesses save energy. They offer several excellent rebates if you happen to be upgrading a major appliance or replacing windows. These homes in many cases also have any combination of alternative energy systems whether they be completely "off-grid" or a "grid-tied" system.
Having a home that is green can mean many things, and take many forms. An old house for instance can easily already be green,other than the potential for lead based paints. One can go out and buy very nice quality and energy efficient builder built green homes which even carry green certifications, such as the home in Portland, Oregon, built in 2009 pictured here. This type of home of course will cost more, an average of 18 percent more, than the average new construction home. The return and value of course comes from owning a home constructed of sustainable and healthy materials, outfitted with the latest energy efficient appliances, and lighting thus paying for themselves and reducing the owners impact on the earth. This is also a house we are talking about. There are a myriad of options, factors and levels of green that can be implemented, or not, depending on climate, site, and always most important - budget.
In contrast there are several popular alternative building styles employed by green, or sometimes known as "eco-builders", short for ecological. There are several earthen building techniques such as cob building, adobe, rammed-earth, and straw-bale construction, all which can provide do-it-yourself very green options for someone willing to expend energy in return for savings, better known as "sweat-equity". There are of course also a variety of quality kit green home solutions that can be delivered on the back of a truck and can be assembled with minimal equipment, some basic tools and a few willing hands. We discuss many of these options here in detail in our articles, and a wealth of information is certainly available on the Internet. It all depends on what level of green your looking to achieve, where you want to live, and what your resources are for the project.
Green Home Makeover
Making your current home green is the most immediately accessible thing to most. There are many things you can do right now to make your current home as green as it can be. Click here to read more about simple changes you can make to be more green. About the Author Chris McGrath, is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of T&G. He writes about sustainability, urban design and development, DIY, organic food, and simple living.
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