What Does Green Mean For You?

As a Nation, We Can Do Better

building green headerAccording to the U.S. EPA, the average home creates more pollution than the average automobile. It’s not surprising there is increasing interest in building environmentally responsible homes, and today it is possible to build “green” without sacrificing aesthetics or livability.

Following is a brief introduction to various aspects of building an environmentally-friendly home and links to helpful articles. Currently, there are several green building initiatives, but it appears consolidation is happening around the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program. For more information, visit www.NahbGreen.org.

Reduced Energy Consumption

Perhaps the largest environmental impact is achieved by choosing to build an energy-efficient home. Better insulation, windows and doors can help you create a “tighter” home, reducing air leakage in and out of your home. Similarly, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment, water heating and appliances can significantly cut energy use. By building your home highly energy efficient, you can help conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides) by thousands of pounds per year.

Homes designed with windows on two sides of rooms increase natural light levels and can reduce the need to turn lights on. Opening those windows ushers in natural cross ventilation, lowering dependence on air conditioning. Large covered porches provide relaxation and considerable shading, too.

Reducing energy consumption may also be one of your best performing investments. Often, spending a few dollars more per month in a tax-deductible mortgage payment can be more than offset by lower utility bills. And as energy costs continue to rise, your future savings will be even greater.

Resource-Efficient Product Choices

Choosing to build a home with engineered wood (e.g., I-joist floors, trusses, etc.) from managed forests instead of traditional lumber saves old-growth forests from being harvested. More durable products, such as siding and roofing backed by a 50-year warranty are also environmentally responsible, as they won’t end up in the landfill nearly as quickly as their traditional counterparts. Paying attention to product content is another important factor. Carpeting made from recycled plastic water/soda bottles is one example.

Homes can be designed around standard building material sizes to maximize efficiency. Carpeting often comes in 15’-wide rolls, so designing a family room to be 15’-6” wide means seaming two pieces of carpet together and often generates waste. Streamlined structural systems require fewer steel beams, structural headers, etc.

Water Conservation

A water-saving dishwasher can reduce water consumption enough to provide all of a household’s drinking water. Some clothes washers save enough hot water to accommodate your bathing needs. Water-efficient toilets and showerheads will make a big difference and “home-run”-type plumbing systems can deliver hot water faster, helping you avoid wasting gallons of water waiting for the shower to “warm up.” Another important consideration is landscaping. Choosing native and drought-resistant grasses and plantings can minimize water used for lawn irrigation.

Minimizing the negative impact homes have on the environment is critical. While home plans themselves are not necessarily ‘Green’, simple choices in the home’s design and selection of environment-friendly home products can make a huge, positive impact.

RESOURCES

building green page

Building Green

Green building can improve indoor air quality, an issue of particular concern to women because of its link to asthma and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children as well as heart and lung problems, headaches, and blurred vision.

Read the article…

building green page

Life at Home
The Paybacks of Energy Efficiency

Totaling up the costs of building a new home can be intimidating. For most of us, it’s one of the most expensive things we will do in our lifetime. Consequently, it’s often necessary to scale back some dreams and make compromises along the way. But one of the places it’s important not to cut corners is energy efficiency.

Read the article

More Articles on Aspects of Green Home Building

tame your utilities

Tame Your Utilities

When you’re thinking about building a new home, the location of the plumbing, heating, and cooling systems probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second. But if easier maintenance, greater comfort, and lower energy bills sound appealing.

It’s worth giving some thought to where these systems go and how you’ll gain access to them.

Read the Article

silence is golden article

Silence is Golden

Your home is a factory. It has all the equipment and processes of almost any factory: fans, blowers, pumps, cleaning and laundering, waste disposal, heating and cooling, refrigeration, even accounting.

Unlike a factory, your home should also be designed to provide a calm, livable environment – one that maximizes comfort and minimizes intrusions, both from the outside world and from within the home.

Read the Article

breathe easier article

Plan Now to Breathe Easier Later

If you’re like most who plan to build a new home, you probably have specific ideas of what you’re looking for in an elevation, floor plan, amenities and even color schemes. But have you considered choices you can make now to ensure healthier air quality in your future home?

Read the Article

Resources

National Association of Home Builders National – https://www.nahb.org/

American Lung Association – Health House

Back-to-School Promotion

Back-to-School Promotion

Take $200 off a home plan license!

Did you know many of our home plans feature amenities that can make getting kids off to school in the mornings easier? Built-in lockers in the rear entry foyer so that everyone has a spot for their backpacks, jackets, etc. Or, a computer/study area that is conveniently located in a main living area or near the bedrooms. So, to celebrate Back-to-School season, we’re offering $200 off your home plan license purchase!

To take advantage of our Back-to-School offer*, order online or contact us at 800.947.7526 with your plan license order and mention offer code 33BTS. Offer valid: Monday, August 27 – Friday, September 7, 2018. Click here for details.

35th Anniversary Featured in Strictly Business

35th Anniversary Featured in Strictly Business

Design Basics, LLC (www.DesignBasics.com) has reached an exciting milestone as the company celebrates 35 years of delivering innovation and leadership through creative home design, marketing, and business transformation solutions, while protecting their right to do so, maximizing value for their customers.

Design Basics began in 1983 as a custom home plan design firm for professional builders in their local community, Omaha, Nebraska. Over the years, Design Basics has expanded their offerings to include a wide variety of home plan designs, plan alteration services, and professional marketing products and services as well as keeping a focus on custom home design. Design Basics’ home designs can now be found throughout all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and other countries around the world.

Read more: Strictly Business Feature

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