At ‘g’ our philosophy is to create beautiful sustainable homes. At times it may seem that we are stressing the beautiful part but we would like to also focus on the nitty gritty real sustainable home practices. Of course we want to make sure our clients are using green products throughout their home, from their floors to the countertops and even more importantly the energy efficiency products like insulation. We want to stress how important it is to focus on the skeleton of your home where the real difference appears. Building an energy efficient home is the most effective way of making your home sustainable and “green.” And in addition to practicing sustainable living your energy efficient home will save you money, and make your home more attractive in the housing market. We also can’t help noting that if you incorporate efficiency into your retrofits or new building now, you will likely be eligible for some of the energy efficiency tax incentives and rebates. Of course just knowing that you are reducing your carbon footprint should be enough, but for many people the biggest and most obvious benefit from an energy efficient homes is that you can heat, cool and light your house for less. The second biggest benefit is that you will be living in a much healthier environment that is using proper ventilation and non toxic materials so that the air in you home is cleaner and fresher. For people who may suffer from a weak immune system or are highly prone to allergies, seeking sustainable design is necessary to live in a healthier environment that is more forgiving to their ailments.
There are some key elements to look for when building or remodeling a home; for example:
- properly installed floor and attic insulation
- air barrier details (to create tight barriers that will prevent drafts)
- high performance windows
- window reflector shades and tinted glass
- efficient air distribution (this entails creating open spaces that let good natural ventilation throughout the house, and making sure ducts are installed properly with minimum air leakage)
- efficient lighting (fixtures that earn EnergyStar rating)
- as well as efficient appliances that also earn the EnergyStar rating
If you want to learn more about home energy efficiency, and building green spaces a great book to check out is “Your Green Home” by Alex Wilson. The book is available at the ‘g’ store and can serve well as a beginners guide for any homeowner planning a new home while trying to incorporate benefits of energy efficient and green products. This book goes through an entire house and gives tips on how to build sustainably and efficiently in every space, from your kitchen to your garden. The book has been used in classrooms, lectures, book clubs and a resource for many builders and architects who want to know more about building homes in the 21st century. Come in and get your copy today!…and ask about products we offer to help you make you home more energy efficient.