Although many people think that green building means expensive, way-out designs and a return to purely natural materials, the real answer is using a best-practices approach and looking at the home as a complete, interactive system made up of many different parts.
It means producing a high-performance house that really takes little or no extra effort or money to build, yet saves money immediately and in the long run with conserving energy and water. It can help free up a homeowner from endless maintenance projects and an eco-friendly log home preserves our resources for future generations.
Four Main Energy Mistakes
Each and every part or module needs to be considered carefully to determine the optimum usage and best approach given the local environment, final usage and budget. Experts say the four mistakes that have the most effect on energy consumption are:
- Outside air infiltration
- Excess solar heat gain
- Improper house orientation
- Inefficient light fixtures and appliances
No green builder advocates using only natural materials. Some of the best energy efficient practices are improvements on nature and there’s nothing wrong with mixing materials to achieve the best results.
Watch Out for Greenwashing
Be wary of “greenwashing” where companies push their limited green techniques to seem as if they are environmentally responsible without taking a long look at their overall building strategy.
Greenwashing is a marketing technique without substantial steps towards a cleaner, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building and design program in place.
There are two main building guidelines, one established by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Program and the other by the National Association of Home Builders ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™.
In addition, there are at least 60 local organizations that have established their own criteria for green building, as well as the Energy Star for Homes program set up by the federal government.
Six Aspects of Green
There are numerous tips and ideas for building green that you can incorporate into your build without much difficulty. There are also six aspects to building green that the NAHB’s National Standard references as being vital to a holistic approach towards a healthier, more comfortable and more energy efficient structure. These are:
- Energy Efficiency
- Lot Preparation and Design
- Water Efficiency/Conservation
- Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality
- Operation, Maintenance and Education
- Resource Efficiency
By carefully addressing these areas you will conserve resources and save money as well. To build truly green means making efficient use of building supplies, utilizing renewable materials as often as possible and promoting conservation of energy and resources.
Green materials and practices must function at least as good as traditional materials and practices and must have a reasonable payback period in order to be adopted wholeheartedly by the building community.
Go even greener and save money by installing solar power on your log home. Utilize both passive and active solar approaches for maximum efficiency and faster payback.
For more information, check out:
Green Building Initiative - Their mission is “to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical approaches for residential and commercial construction.”
Building Your Green Home - Learn how you can save money, time and energy as you explore the options for building an energy efficient, non-toxic, resource conserving home. Written from a home owner's perspective, this site is an educational resource intended to help those who are building a home make wise, green choices.
More Green Building Pages:
Solar Power Saves Money and Resources Both passive solar power and active solar power offer ways to save money along with our planets resources.
Green Building Your Log Cabin Green Building is one of the many appealing things about log homes.
Six Aspects of Green Building are Key Areas to Address Key areas to address in designing and building your home for maximum energy efficiency are these six aspects of green building.
Green Building Guidelines Green Building Guidelines offer specific help in designing and building an energy efficient home.
High Performance House A high performance house saves money and provides greater comfort and efficiency.