When you decide to build a custom home, you are rewarded with the flexibility to choose products and features that will support and enhance your lifestyle. A knowledgeable builder who takes the time to get to know you can introduce you to green construction options that are more efficient and may even save you money — without sacrificing style.
Many green construction options and energy efficient products have become available over the past few years, from surface materials to appliances. Although green construction may be more of an investment upfront, it pays off in the long-term by reducing your energy bill, improving your air quality, and leaving a better world for your kids and grandkids.
Insulation: First things first – insulation. Heating and cooling make up more than half of the average home’s energy costs, so although insulation isn’t exciting, it’s one of the backbones of green construction and can save you a bundle. Proper insulation prevents heat from escaping in the winter and entering in the summer. Weather stripping and sealant around doors and windows work in conjunction with insulation to keep your home comfortable.
Floors: Bamboo is a sustainable and beautiful yet durable material commonly used for flooring in green construction. It is available in a variety of colors and resembles hardwood floors, which makes it an affordable option for any style of home.
Counters: Granite countertops have been the popular choice over the past several years, but you can achieve a similar but unique look with recycled glass, offered by Vetrazzo. Unlike granite, glass can be recycled over and over without any loss in quality.
Lantera Architectural Surfaces
Skylights and Solar Tubes: With a custom home, you have the opportunity to take advantage of natural light, or what sustainability gurus call “daylighting.” Your green construction company can install skylights and solar tubes wherever you need the most natural light, such as a bathroom, office or kitchen. The more natural light you have, the less energy you need to light your home. Natural light can even make you happier and healthier!
LED and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) Bulbs: Where you do need other forms of light, you can save energy by using LED or CFL bulbs. These bulbs are more expensive up front but save you a significant amount on your energy bill over time.
Learning Thermostat System: Products such as Nest learn your heating and cooling habits as you use it, and will then automatically adjust the temperature according to your lifestyle. It can also be controlled from your smartphone so you never have to worry about wasting energy while you are out.
Energy Efficient Windows: Large windows are another obvious choice for allowing natural light into your home while also revealing beautiful views! However, it’s important to select windows based on their heat gain ratings — the amount of heat kept in and out — which can increase energy efficiency by 9% if installed correctly. Green construction often includes double-pane windows with a special solar control coating. Energy-efficient windows are even categorized by climate to assure they can withstand the weather they will most exposed to.
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