Wikipedia describes green buildings as a means to increase the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.
Ecological concerns and the increasing awareness of the advantages of green homes have led to anupsurge in green homes in the country.
Concerns about the impact their homes have on the environment have prompted some home buyers to opt for green homes. Here are a few features and advantages of green buildings:
The cost of a green building might be more upfront, but it saves through lower operating costs over the life of the building. The green building approach applies a project life cycle cost analysis for determining the appropriate up-front expenditure. This analytical method calculates costs over the useful life of the asset.
These and other cost savings can only be fully realized when they are incorporated at the project’s conceptual design phase with the assistance of an integrated team of professionals. The integrated systems approach ensures that the building is designed as one system rather than a collection of stand-alone systems.
Effective green building can lead to 1) increase in productivity by using less energy and water, 2) improvement in public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and 3) less environmental impact, for example, lessening storm water runoff and the heat island effect.
Green home designs add lots of ceiling and wall insulation to your entire home. This is most beneficial and keeps your home more energy efficient. Remember to use eco-friendly insulation materials. Always chose high performance windows and double or even triple pane windows, doors and skylights as they help conserve energy as well.
Green home designs use eco-friendly reusable materials, furnishings and leftovers. These kind of designs feature the use of long lasting, non-toxic materials as well as recycling. Green home designs make use of materials that are renewable and long lasting. To remodel a residence with new materials every few years is not green building design.
When you use materials to be green, you restore and salvage what you have when possible. Options for green flooring design can provide you many different choices today. You can sand and refinish or even paint and stencil without using materials containing volatile organic compounds.
Green home designs today features the use of materials such as cork, bamboo and eucalyptus since they are earth friendly and renewable. Cork is especially good since there is no destruction of trees during extraction of the cork. Hardwood flooring can last forever and is very desirable, however, these kinds of woods are often the remnants of old growth from rain forest trees and this is not eco-friendly or green. You can select types of woods that have the approval and certification by environmental groups.
While creating your green home designs using these ideas, be sure to include many glass window and doors as well as roof and wall skylights to allow natural lighting into your home. Skylights provide the green design benefits of reducing and avoiding moisture accumulation in a room while conserving energy consumption.
Concrete floorings have made the circle of fashion, coming back in style. They come in various colors, patterns, textures and polishes. This type of flooring is not so harmful to your health since it uses no glue, finishes or refinishing products and their chemicals.
Green home designs in the kitchen can feature the use of concrete counter tops since they are a natural appearing material and have become quite popular. They can add a modern look and style to your kitchen, bathrooms and fireplace.
Vertrazzo, which is recycled glass, is another popular choice for green kitchen counter tops. Recycled glass is attractive and comes in various colors to match your decor perfectly. You can use it as both kitchen counter tops and as a backsplash. Recycled glass tiles are another beautiful alternative in trends of green kitchen designs.
Building green homes is no longer a remote concept these days. Over disturbing facts about global warming and indoor air pollution, today, the top priority of the National Home Builders Association and the American Institute of Architects is constructing green buildings.
What was once a patchwork of green buildings in several cities has now increased to encompass whole communities and neighborhoods. According to a McGraw-Hill Construction survey in 2006, about two-thirds of builders would be building green homes in America this year. Green buildings are firmly mainstream now with federal government and 15 states requiring new public buildings to meet the LEED standards. In fact, four U.S. states and 17 cities offer incentives for private buildings built to LEED standards
With rising government initiatives, consumer interest and the number of green developers and builders, the green building revolution is all set to go to a new level.