Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lake Norman Real Estate: What does it mean to be green? GREEN BUILDING 101

New Construction at Lake Norman Goes Green

I believe the largest misconception about Green Building is that it only improves Energy Effeciency. Green Building is much more than that. In addition to Energy Effeciency, green building looks at Resource-Efficient Features, Indoor Air Quality Features, and Processes used outside the home. There is a standardized point system that rates how green your home is.

What does Energy Effeciency include?
Look at your Energy Star ratings on your appliances, windows, and water heating systems. Energy effecient trade fixtures (Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC) can further decrease your overall energy effeciency within a home.

What does Water Effecient Features include?
In addition to all the plumbing fixtures and appliances that use water, you have to look at your low-volume irrigation systems, rainwater collection systems, wastewater treatment systems, and hot water recirculation systems.

What does Resource Effecient Features include?
These variables include home size, orientation on the lot, floor plan layout. Your home should take advantage of natural lighting to reduce electricity and should use strategies to reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. The home should also include renewable materials where possible.

What does Indoor Air Qualities Features include?
The HVAC system must be properly sized to the home to properly ventilate the home. Use fans to circulate air where possible and use Low-VOC paints and finishes on the walls.

What do Features Outside the Home include?
Preserve all native vegetation where possible. Landscaping should be appropriate to the climate and rainfall. Reduce Impervious as much as possible. The Lake Norman area currently has Impervious Restrictions on all of it's new construction.

For more information on Green Building check out the NAHB National Green Building Program at You can actually use their website to score how green YOUR home is!

Green Building Council of the Lake Norman Home Builders Assoc. Lake Norman Home Builder Association

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