Green building is an environmentally friendly system of building, renovating, and demolition that aims to increase energy savings of a structure while reducing waste and harm to the environment. It also aims to protect the health of the occupants and has been proven to increase productivity, as unhealthy materials are known to sometimes cause adverse health effects on the people residing or working within. Nonetheless, some people have yet to be convinced. We are living in a “Me” generation and understandably want to know what’s in it for us. Some folks have not yet realized how significant the savings can be when you build green. The cost savings, especially over the course of time can be huge, making green building a wise investment choice. Let us examine green building more closely and why it is a great choice.
Energy savings is probably the most common reason why home and business owners choose green building. Why? Because the savings over time can make up for the initial investment. Having worked in the construction industry for over 30 years, I often encounter questions like:
So let’s observe these in order. A good builder, engineer, or architect will know that any home or structure will have very small openings on the walls, by the windows, on the roof and several other areas. These tiny microscopic openings are practically unavoidable and are sometimes good for your home, as they allow for air to travel in and out of your home, helping ventilate it while being hydrophobic enough to keep water outside (hopefully). However, this can also increase the amount of energy required to keep your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Using quality materials and proper building technique, the openings can be minimized and even eliminated through a technical process that requires sealing and using specific building materials, which would immediately save money on your energy bill, by avoiding direct contact with the outside. It also helps develop a stronger sound barrier to avoid noises from the outside that can distract and wake us during the peak of our sleep. Meanwhile, it is important to maintain good home ventilation, so in the event you decide to hire a contractor for this service, make sure that the builder works with his/her engineer and architect to determine the right amount of sealing and ventilation needed. This will save you money on your gas and electric bill. More savings can be achieved on your electric bill if the electrician installs lighting that turns off and on depending on whether there is anyone in the room and if your plumber installs a point of use water treatment device that can be used to heat water and/or filter it on the spot.
As per plumbing, there are several reasons why you may want to save on your water bill. Some people look at their savings alone, while others are more environmentally conscious. Water is the most valuable natural element in our planet regardless of what anyone will tell you. Without it there would not be a life to judge whether it is important or not. With the increasing population, it is becoming more difficult to ensure that drinkable water comes out of your faucet when you request it, yet many people over the years have become less mindful of this and simply waste this element without consideration. There was a time that entire civilizations fought over access to water, something I believe people are taking for granted. Moving on from the sentimental stuff, how do people save on water through green building? One of the main methods of achieving real cost savings is reusing water. Many folks are puzzled when I say this because nobody wants to reuse water, and I agree, but bare with me for a minute. Some water can be reused. For instance, when you brush your teeth, or shave, or wash the dishes, the water that goes into the drain can be harnessed on another tank to use as toilet water. Why waste something that can be reused? Toilet water does not need to be drinkable; it needs to serve its function of taking waste down the drain pipes. The system can be installed in a day and the tank is typically hidden somewhere out of sight.
As the green building movement has become more attractive, builders, remodelers, electricians and plumbers are receiving more calls from home and business owners to assist with making their properties sustainable through green building. Find out the facts before you decide to not consider green building as a possibility. We do not all need to practically use every single option available, but if we all do something small, the effects can be very large.
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