In all the years we have been building houses for shelter in America there has never been a change like the change we have been experiencing the past 10 years.
It does not have to be difficult. You just have to change your way of thinking. Ultimately we want to save energy and the natural resources it takes to build a house and keep it healthy and low maintenance for ever.
Let’s face it the two basic essentials for all people are shelter and comfort. Our largest monthly bills are your home (mortgage) and your utilities which are water and energy. Energy is your Electric and if you have gas, then that would be included.
As far as building your house green think of every thing like this example. Your roof is one of the most important parts of your house. You can choose to roof your house with asphalt shingles which you have to replace every 20 or so years. They should be removed before a new roof can be installed, therefore filling landfills. If you choose to install a metal roof, it will last the life of the house with little maintenance. It will cost more initially but the life long cost and benefits will save you and the earth. This way of thinking when we plan and build our houses will save energy and protect the earth.
At the beginning of every change there always are new methods techniques and products. New information, greater technology is available. Who do you believe and which way is best? Unfortunately this is the downside of new and better.
www.NCFI.com This web site is full of information on “Green”. After all they have been in the industry for 40 years. Use their experience and knowledge. You can also get more information by visiting www.greenbuildsolutions.org.
As we enter “Green” there will be many organizations with different ways of getting there. Be patient and do your home work and use common sense. Here are some of the Leading groups and certification information.
LEED : Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
The above web sites will provide the big picture.
The “Green Movement” is really in it’s infancy. It does not have to be difficult or confusing. Let’s keep it simple. Here is a list of things that are green.
Recycle or buy things that are biodegradable. We cannot keep putting trash into the earth. We must learn different ways.
Seal up and insulate your houses. Get an energy audit on your home if necessary. Develop a plan based on your individual needs. All houses are different. No two are ever built the same. The largest bill you pay every month other than your mortgage or rent is your energy bill.
If we all do this we can close coal burning energy plants.
LED lighting is the way of the future. Consider installing LED bulbs wherever possible.[/fullwidth]