Here are the basic elements of green home building. Basic elements include heating and cooling, electrical systems, plumbing, and construction techniques. With concern growing about global climate change, green home building has become important for home builders. In order to gain the full advantage of these techniques, it is important to fully understand them.
At this point in the development of the technology, the promising heating and cooling systems are solar, variable speed heat pumps, and wind power. Current federal tax law provides tax credits for the installation of energy efficient equipment and construction material. All beneficial tax provisions should be used. All home builders should constantly monitor federal and state tax laws. Appropriate use of state and federal tax provisions make the installation of energy efficient equipment and designs cost effective.
Photovoltaic cells and wind power are the best techniques currently available for electrical supply. Arrays of photovoltaic cells are placed on roof tops. Wind turbines are also mounted on the roof. These systems are connected to the electrical grid. Excess energy is sold back to the utility company. The use of low energy LED and compact fluorescent lighting whenever possible is encouraged.
It is important to consume less water. Plumbing systems must minimize water use. Using rainwater is a very simple way of achieving this. Toilets, dish washers, and cloth washers can all run fine with rainwater. It is very easy to collect rainwater. It can save a lot of water. It encourages sustainability. Water heating is an expensive function. Water heating costs can be reduced by using solar panels to heat water. You will use less water in your bath room by installing low flow shower heads, toilets and faucets.
Minimize wood usage and at the same time increase insulation area. Create a sealed thermal envelope. Use structured insulated panels, which will increase home energy efficiency. Concrete walls should be of poured concrete with conditioned, sealed crawl spaces. With a sealed thermal envelope you will see your energy bill go down. You will find that the investment of energy efficient systems and environmentally friendly designs will save you a ton of money over the long run.
Incorporate the latest architectural designs that promote energy efficiency and sustainability. Site orientation is a very important factor to get the most potential from alternative energy systems and green building materials. Some other important issues that only an experienced architect can handled are window placement and design and roof design. These are all critical to achieving the principles of green building techniques.
As you can see, insulation is a crucial element in attaining the level of energy efficiency you are seeking. The objective is to have the home tightly wrapped in a thermal envelope. Two types of materials are used to obtain the tight seal necessary: structured insulated panels and open cell spray foam. The foam must be sprayed into all open wall cavities. Roof decks and band joists must be filled with foam also. Every tiny gaps and slit left over from framing must be sealed. The other material is structured insulated panels. Structured insulated panels are two pieces of plywood with four to six inches of foam sandwich between. Both materials will render the complete thermal seal for the entire home that you require.
Now that you understand these basic concepts behind green home building, you will be a better position to select a contractor who reflects your values. Your new home will help sustain our beautiful planet. Focus on the major technological innovations that have made environmentally friendly home building techniques possible. Solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps along with new architectural designs are available today.
Thomas Bleier is a professional carpenter and green building enthusiast. In a addition to writing about green home building, Thomas also covers urban gardening, permaculture, and clean energy.