Green homes, also marketed as “high-performance homes,” often appeal to buyers looking to upgrade their home while treading lighter on the planet. How do you get started? Here’s how to sort out your options.
Green, Greener & Greenest
There isn’t a single, rigid formula for building a green home. Rather, it requires a sliding-scale approach based on the building site’s opportunities, the client’s budget, the local climate and a host of other factors. The greener the home, the more it costs—thanks to testing, certification and better-performing building materials (windows, doors, insulation, roofing, HVAC systems, etc.).
We Built First Certified Green Home in South Carolina
Carolina Diversified Builders built the first home to be certified green by the Build Green Greater Columbia program. Additionally, the home is ENERGY STAR Certified and is a certified Gold level green home in the National Green Building Certification Program administered by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center.
Principles of Sustainability
The principles of green building focus on passive solar orientation, best use of space, an energy-efficient envelope, water efficiency, renewable materials, easier maintenance, better indoor air quality, tighter duct works and the use of less-toxic materials.
Home As A Complete System
A home is a system and has to be thought of as such when designing it. Most homes in America today perform as if a window has been left open year-round. You can change this by opting for increased insulation, which will save you as much as 50% on heating costs and cooling costs.
Passive Solar Positioning
Orienting the home to benefit from passive solar gain can save you up to 40% on heating and cooling costs. Putting the home on a north-south axis is the most energy efficient.