The range of benefits listed here are among the items that Green builders may choose from in order to comply a Green program; they may not be included/available in all Green homes programs.
- With natural gas and water prices on the rise, properly-sized and highly-efficient furnaces, air-conditioners, and water heaters save money every month. They also require less maintenance than standard units.
Energy Star® units use much less electricity and water than average appliances, and make a smaller dent in your family’s utility budget.
Advanced lighting packages, including compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), offer excellent light quality, extremely long life, and require only a fraction of the electricity of a normal bulb.
- Optimally-insulated walls and roofs are an integral part of an energy-efficient and comfortable building “shell”. Built Green builders use both blown-in products and expertly-installed batts to ensure that no energy is wasted in heating and cooling the home.
- Draft-free, well-insulated low-emissivity (Low-e) windows make a significant contribution to the overall performance of the “building envelope”. And since they resist the transfer of cold air, they expand the area of useable, comfortable space in a room.
- “Low-flow” faucets, shower heads, and toilets perform at least as well as their water-wasting counterparts, and markedly cut back on the household’s increasingly-expensive “water budget”.
- Advanced irrigation practices take the guess-work out of watering the lawn and complying with water restrictions. Landscaped receive the optimal amount of water, and become less of a burden on homeowners’ time and wallets.
- Furnaces and water heaters are situated centrally to where they’ll be most often needed, and their lines and ducts are well-insulated to minimize energy losses. Less waiting for hot water and more consistent levels of conditioned air are the result.
- “Can lights” can have the unintended consequence of poking dozens of holes in a home’s insulated envelope. Air-tight versions of these lights solve the problem of air leakage and associated thermal losses.
- “Xeriscape” yard treatments combine drought-resistance with natural beauty, and marry creativity to the goal of conserving water with the inclusion of hearty native plant selection.
- Well-insulated doors are as stylish as any other, but offer the added benefit of correcting this thermal Achilles-heel of many building envelopes.
- Expertly air-sealed building envelopes fitted with meticulously-detailed moisture planes combine to create a wall system that resists the degrading effects of air and water transmission that can plague lower-performing walls.
- A properly drained and insulated foundation is a key factor is avoided unwanted moisture below grade. These elements are critical to maintaining a dry and comfortable basement.
- Ventilated, well-sealed crawlspaces, whether above or below grade, are necessary to ensure the proper management of moisture throughout the home.
- Outdoor decking and landscaping products made from low-impact polymers and composite recycled products not only look better than many types of lumber, but they also wear several times longer and require much less maintenance over time.
- “Engineered lumber” can be used throughout the home’s frame, and can provide a straighter, stronger, more consistent structure that protects forests by using only fast-growing, rapidly renewable tree species.
- Tough, long-lasting exterior finishes like brick, stucco, and fiber cement help to ensure that a home endures for generations, and that it requires less upkeep over those years as well.
- Landfills are heaped with lower-quality roofing products, but that won’t happen when your builder selects either long-rated shingles or durable materials like slate, cement, or metal.
- Even simple items like downspout extensions on gutters provide an effective means of keeping water away from foundations and basement walls.
- Ducts transport conditioned air from the furnace or air conditioner throughout every room in the house. Or at least they’re supposed to. Too often, installed ducts are leaky enough to create negative pressures in a home that draw combustion gasses from the furnace and water heater into the living space. Tight ducts prevent this potentially dangerous situation, and make sure that the correct amount of warm or cool air is reaching every room.
- Since tight home enclosures make outside air much less likely to randomly leak into the living space, mechanical ventilation is a great means of providing the right amount of fresh air for your family around the clock.
- Sealed-combustion furnaces and power-vented water heaters mean protection for your family from combustion gasses that might otherwise be introduced to indoor air space.
- Careful attention to the location and particular performance qualities of windows throughout the home contribute to not only increased energy efficiency, but also to protection from overheating, glare, and damage to furnishings from excessive solar radiation.
- Carpets made from recycled materials or from less toxic materials look great, wear like iron, and improve the quality of the air you breathe every day.
- Cabinets made with low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials are a stylish assurance that the air in your home is as free from these chemical baddies as possible.
- There are a range of paints and finishes available to builders, from run-of-the-mill to top-of-the-line. The latter category includes products that perform better than average while emitting none of the chemical by-products of their counterparts, in the process making for a more beautiful and healthy home.
- Best-practice air filtrations methods, whether high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) or others, offer added assurance for families with sensitive children or heightened concern for indoor air quality.
- When special sealing practices are undertaken to isolate the garage from the house, homeowners can rest assured that what comes out of their car won’t go into their lungs.
Central vacuum systems are not only incredibly effective and convenient; they also isolate the collection of household floor pollutants to a location safely outside the living space.