Sustainable and beautiful North Carolina cypress fromBuckley Lumber was featured at the Southern Ideal Home Show. The cypress siding clad the Green Building Pavilion which featured green building materials. It also won first place in Exhibitor Category!
NC Builder, Bill Beasley explains, “Green built homes look at the home from a holistic standpoint. While energy conservation is a primary focus, they also include everything from development of the site to efficient house plans to educating the homeowner on proper usage of the home and its systems.”
There are several tools available to assist the builder in achieving green certification. The Green Building Initiative of the National Association of Home Builders have created a Green Building Guidelinesdocument that explains in detail. The builder will work with a third party verifier throughout the building process with field visits and submit the documentation to review at completion. The verifier confirms all claimed points have been met and green certification is awarded.
Building a green home will save the homeowner in utility bills, improve the quality of the indoor air and increase re-sale value in the future.
Most green certification programs have seven areas of focus.
FAQ About Green Built Communities and Homes
I’m confused by all the ‘certifications’ and descriptions of a green built home. What is the difference, if any, between a LEED home, Energy Star home, GBC certification or Healthy Home?
GBC – Green Building Council -is a program based on the Green Building Guidelines developed by the National Association of Homebuilders that provides third party certification of homes. Download the guidelines
Healthy Built Homes – is a NC program that provides visibility and third party certification of homes for residential builders who build sustainable, high performance homes.
Energy Star Home – is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save the homeowner money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. The government calculates an Energy Star home can save a homeowner up 20% or more in energy costs. Please Note: An Energy Star home exceeds standard building codes (the minimum) by only 15%. All other certifications are Energy Star homes and much, much more.
LEED – The LEED Green Building Rating System is the national benchmark for high performance green buildings. LEED has been used primarily by architects and builders of commercial buildings.
The U.S. Green Building Council offers a checklist for residential structures less than four stories tall (LEED-H). A certification program is in the pilot stage.
Download the guidelines
Exactly what is a green built home?
A home built with a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Isn’t building ‘green’ a lot more expensive?
Usually, but often not by much.. There are green built homes in our market for $160,000 and up. A site plan to take advantage of solar energy, shade from deciduous trees or avoiding erosion are generally no or low cost green techniques.
In addition to saving money on water, power bills and creating better indoor air quality for your family, you will be building additional equity in your home. Any home built today that is not built to a certified green standard is an ‘end of the technology’ building and will be more difficult to re-sell.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program, an integrated, systems-engineering approach can reduce as much as 50% of the energy consumption of a new home – with little on the cost of construction. Talk with your builder about the upfront costs and the lifecycle cost (savings over the lifetime of the building).
I’m a builder and I’m building what the consumer wants.
Study after study shows what the consumer wants is comfort, walking paths to local merchants, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, easy commutes, quality and the ability to re-sale for the most profit.. With proper site planning, green built homes meet all those goals.
What is ‘smart framing?
Optimum value engineering (OVE) or smart framing is a combination of design and building techniques that use less lumber used to build a house. This saves money for the builder, the homeowner and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Isn’t green building a lot of trouble?
If you consult with a green builder and the third party certifier before you start your plan building green is not too much trouble. Your builder will need to be educated in green certification procedures and have the correct resources as well as the right frame of mind.
Specific Topic: South Facing Orientation
- A calculator from NOAA that allows you to input your zip code and obtain the declination from magnetic south.
- Find some typical latitudes and longitudes in the US.
- Provide the lattitude and longitude and other factors and this calculator will help you with sun angles.
Specific Topic: Energy Efficient Lighting
- Lighting fixture search engine
- Lighting fixture search engine
- Website sponsored by Phillips Lighting, provides fixture search engine for LEDs and florescents
US Government Agencies & Programs
National & Regional Organizations
- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
- Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS)
- National Energy Foundation
- National Recycling Coaliton
- Sustainable Buildings Industry Council website, including Energy 10 energy modeling analysis software
Products and Materials
Home Maintenance Resources
Affordable Housing Resources
Indoor Air Quality
National Financial Resources
US Dept. of Energy: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Top 10 Tips for Energy Efficient New Homes (B.E.S.T)