A small home can pack a super-large kind when it comes to reducing a house's environmental impact. Energy-efficient, sustainable housing tends to be smaller housing, which in itself has less square meters inside and less area outside. The inside costs less than heat, cold and light, which leads to less energy consumption and a minimal lawn, if minimal maintenance is needed, reduces emissions and contributes to a much healthier environment. But there is more to a "green home" than what meets the eye.
A green home does not have to look like it was built in 2100. In fact, many green homes look from outside, as other homes go into new subdivisions. But on the inside and some invisible places on the outside these homes are unusual. Functions such as rainwater capture systems, a roof designed for solar installation, recycled carpets and wind power are just a few ways a house is built with the environment in mind.
The greenest of green is residential buildings built to be certified to the highest standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) classification systems. In line with US Department of Energy Building America Program standards, LEED has long been used for commercial and public buildings, but home certification is a relatively new phenomenon. One way that a green home is defined is that its valuation is at least 40 percent more energy-efficient than standard code houses.
For the clean sake of the building, smaller homes are most likely to be built as "green" homes. Many of the systems that are designed as environmentally friendly are not cheap, and the fewer solar panels and the smaller self-supporting heating and cooling systems correspond to a smaller building budget. The elements that make a home a green home have fallen in cost in recent years, but building a basic LEED certified house still runs about $ 3,500 more than it would cost to build a regular house. The highest LEED certified home cost is about $ 29,000. The less the home, the cheaper the process. The same concept applies to existing housing renovations or "green up" an older home.
An example of a company that successfully joins the concepts of "green" and "small" is seen with the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founded by Jay Shafer. Shafer began to build small homes out of their concern over the impact a larger house has on the environment. More than 10 years later, these "small" portable homes not only minimize square meters, but the green houses are completely isolated with double glazing and a suitable heater.
More and more homebuilders green the American dream. It is proposed to verify the builder's references by requesting their ANSI-approved ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard certification (see http://www.nahbgreen.org for more information). Check out these builders online:
Atlas Home Contractors, atlashomecontractorsinc.com
BPC Green Builders, bpcgreenbuilders.com
Castalia Homes, castaliahomes.com
Dominion Homes, dominionhomes.com
Grady O Grady, gradyogrady.com
Integrity builder, homesbyintegrity.com
Jurenka Custom Homes, jurenka.com
Undrawn Home Building, ondrahomebuilding.com
RC Green Builders, rcgreenbuildersaz.com
Summit Custom Homes, summitcustomhomeskc.com
Zero Energy, zeroenergyllc.com