Green Building | New Homes Market Center

You can’t turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, or surf the Internet without seeing something about green building. Green building is making the shift from being a hot trend to a sought-after building practice.

What is Green Building?

Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water, and materials. Basically, a green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier for the people living inside. Green building is not just about selecting green materials; it is about design strategy as well with the overall goal of reducing building impacts on human health and the environment through better positioning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.

How About Sustainability?

Green building is sometimes known as, or considered an essential component of, general sustainability. General sustainability covers sustainable design, building and developmental elements. Very generally speaking, sustainability refers to the process of analyzing interactions between many building variables and coming up with design solutions to maximize efficiency on all fronts. There are different levels of sustainability, so the level of efficiency can very from building to building. This is sometimes referred to as “shades of green” – an informal indication of how green the home is or the level of resource efficiency achieved. Homes with one or two green measures are sometimes called light green while homes with several green measures are called dark green. Read more about Green Building Rating Systems .

What Goes Into Building Green?

There is not one single formula for green building. It is not as if you can put the same green building in four different states. They have to be regionally specific. Green building architects perform a regional analysis of topography, soil, climate, wind patterns, and sun angles. And, when designing a green building, architects take an integrated approach thinking about how a building works as a system and designing that system to be environmentally friendly. They take into account elements such as positioning of the home so that it benefits from everyday breezes, sun orientation, passive solar heating and cooling, as well as use of ventilated roof systems, carefully sized roof over hangs, sealed attics and green energy appliances. Basically, they aim to make homes durable and low maintenance. In the end it’s about good design that saves time, energy, labor and materials.

What Are Some Benefits of Green Building?

Some of the many benefits of a green home include economic benefits such as lower energy and water bills; environmental benefits like reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and health benefits such as reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks (read more about indoor air quality). Green building aims to mitigate those risks. Read more about the Benefits of Green Building .

What Does it Mean to Live Gently?

Green building spans the complete building life cycle. However, the benefits do not have to stop at the end of the building cycle. Consumers can choose to live green – or live gently as some say. Choosing a lifestyle of reducing, reusing and recycling materials, water and energy whenever possible benefits everyone. Reduce the amount and toxicity of trash you discard. Reuse containers and products; repair what is broken or give it to someone who can repair it. Recycle as much as possible, which includes buying products with recycled content.

Thinking about building a green home , we can help. Tell us about your ideas and we can match you with a green builder or architect.

Learn more about Benefits of Building Green