When you build an eco-friendly home it begins with the core of the house, using energy-efficient and sustainable insulated concrete forms (ICFs). Saving on labor costs, ICFs are rigid yet lightweight and add a heightened layer of thermal resistance – also known as “R” value - and they increase construction productivity.
Today’s energy efficient home uses a radiant heat system that is more efficient than baseboard and forced-air heating systems. Here are some other items used in an environmentally conscious home:
-- High-efficiency light bulbs and smart appliances will be installed throughout
-- A smart-grid power source is used
-- Highly insulated R-5 windows, the top-of-the-line energy-efficient windows, for cold and mixed climates.
-- A rainwater retention system will be installed so rainwater can be used for watering gardens or agriculture
ENERGY STAR® is a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. This entity supports the use of triple-glazed, or triple pane or heat mirror, high performance windows that save energy and money.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a Green Home will add value to your home, help reduce energy use and energy costs, fight climate change, and help protect your health. This Web site is an umbrella site for EPA and other federal agencies on residential environmental issues. It identifies the key environmental and energy issues at hand, suggesting solutionsThe EPA green home website provides Americans with some very easy-to-use and credible information on how to green their homes, such as:
-- Reduce home energy use and use of renewable energy
-- Reduce water use and protect water resources
-- Select the most environmentally friendly location for a new home
-- Choosing greener home building materials and household products
-- Reducing waste from home construction and household activities and increasing recycling
-- Protecting your health from environmental hazards that occur in homes
The green home Web site provides introductory information and links in an organized fashion for the homeowner to access more detailed information. For energy issues, this site links extensively to the EPA-DOE ENERGY STAR® program.
One of the many topics that is of interest among architects today is the proper building techniques for constructing the high performance home, which is designed to use about 35 percent less energy than a similar new home and about 50 percent less energy than a similar existing home. These high performance house plans are more than just energy efficient—they are more environmentally responsible and maintain a very robust sustainable living environment.
In fact, the NAHB and BuildingGreen, LLC have developed a special course that provides builders and remodelers with the latest information and techniques available in order to build a high performance home.
In the end, a “Green House Plan" will what every sophisticated home owner wants because it will be a comfortable, convenient energy-efficient and environmentally friendly place to live. Visit: http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/