The impetus for green homes has increased dramatically over the past year. From a low whisper to a roaring engine, green is growing, and it’s more than a trend. With rising energy prices in 2006 and widespread climate awareness, homebuyers are looking to be environmentally friendly in their homes. Green homes are defined as those that have an environmental impact below historic levels. Here are some tips for going green.
-Some ways to make your home greener: Use building materials from recycled products. Install low-flow showerheads and water-saving toilets. Buy wood that is not from old wood. Use high-performance windows that have double glazing with low-e coatings. Use odorless or low odor paints and mats. Recycling of construction debris.
-Seek renewable energy sources that reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Solar panels, thermal and wind technology have come into their own over the past couple of years.
-New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Oregon offer green building tax credits and are among many states and municipalities that offer incentives for those involved in going green.
-Green communities are characterized by public transit, community infrastructure that reduces traveled miles, local health and social services, walkable options for recreation and shopping needs, and accessible bike paths.
-Lifestyles of the Health and Sustainability Consumer or LOHAS is an important housing niche that is driven by values of personal, social and environmental well-being. They form the basis of the development of green construction.
– Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) or Green Mortgages are available to home buyers who purchase energy efficient homes. The rationale behind these mortgages is that the energy savings of a green home are converted into income for the borrower. Some borrowers may qualify for a more expensive home if it is green.
-Look for LEED certification. It guarantees that it meets the guidelines of the US Green Building Council. Certification is an environmental sustainability rating system. Buildings are evaluated on their energy efficiency and consumption, their green attributes, and the use of local supplies to reduce transportation costs and energy consumption to the job site.