Thursday, September 18, 2008

Buying and Building Green Homes

If you are looking for a new home or if you are planning to have a new home built, you might be interested in purchasing a home that is LEED certified. A home that is LEED certified is one that has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council. In order to receive this recognition, the home must meet certain “green” criteria.

Why Consider Green Construction?

There are many reasons to consider purchasing or building a home to meets LEED certification criteria. The most obvious reason is because of the positive effect it has on the environment. By selecting building materials according to their eco-friendly attributes and by installing appliances and other goods that are better for the environment, you will be playing your part in protecting the environment.

Another reason to think green, however, is more about finances. The reality is that an increasing number of people are looking for homes that are environmentally-friendly. In addition, more states and cities are passing legislation to require green construction or to provide incentives to those that meet certain criteria. Therefore, by purchasing or building a home that meets LEED certification criteria, you will be ahead of the game and your home will likely increase in value quickly.

Weighing the Costs

When it comes to green construction, the downside is the fact that it generally costs more to build than standard construction. At the same time, it is less expensive to implement a green design when building a home rather than trying to add green elements later. In addition, the money you will ultimately save with a home that is more energy-efficient will be greater than the initial investment. Nonetheless, coming up with the money to build an eco-friendly home can be difficult on some home buyers, particularly first time home buyers.

Making a Home “Green”

There are a number of things that can make a home “green,” ranging from the building materials to implementing methods for reducing energy waste and waste reduction. Some of the building materials that are implemented in green building include those materials made from:

• Plant material that is rapidly renewable, such as straw and bamboo
• Lumber derived from forests that have been certified for being managed in a sustainable manner
• Recycled products, including stone and metal
• Non-toxic materials

To be the most eco-friendly, the materials should also be extracted and manufactured locally as well.

To reduce energy use, the home should utilize high-efficiency insulation and windows. It may also have the windows and landscaping installed in such a manner that the trees provide shade to the home in the summer but allow heat through the windows in the winter, thereby helping to reduce the costs involved with climate control.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for . For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

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