What Does it Mean
to Build Green?
We have all heard too much about going “green”. In fact “green” and its many variables made the 2009 List of Banished Words published by Lake Superior State University. Certainly there is a lot of hype in advertising and the media which raises questions for anyone thinking of building or remodeling. Questions like:
Doesn’t green just mean putting in more insulation and a more efficient furnace?
What makes a house green?
Doesn’t it cost a lot more than regular building?
Is a product or service really green just because it is advertised that way?
Why should I build green?
Energy efficiency is only one component of green building. But it is one component that can easily be measured and proven to save money over a given period of time. Energy Star, the well-known Environmental Protection Agency’s program rates appliances, computers and other devices also certifies homes for energy efficiency. The Energy Star program uses independent inspectors to examine the design of the house before it is built, inspect it during construction and test the house when it is completed giving the buyer a realistic assessment of their future utility costs and savings.
What makes a house really green can be subjective. If you want a house that is verifiably green, there is a way to measure “green-ness”. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) working with the International Code Council (ICC) the leading building code organization in the U.S. has developed a National Green Building Standard. This is the only standard approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
It sets benchmarks for green:
Subdivisions and land development
Lot design, preparation and development
Indoor environmental quality
Operation, maintenance and building owner education
Remodeling and renovation work
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