Green building as a concept is not new, but in recent years it’s definitely become more mainstream. Done right, a green home both conserves natural resources in the way it is built and how the land is developed. It also saves homeowners money through reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills, and does so without compromising on design, comfort, or functionality. Homes that are healthy to live in, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly appeal to a lot of Northern VA homeowners. But just what does green building mean?
Green is the Gold Standard
Green building – also also known as sustainable design – extends far beyond the walls of a home; it includes site, community, and land use planning as well. The goal is to increase the efficiency with which your home uses energy, water, and materials, as well as improve your family’s overall quality of life. Green homes typically feature better ventilation, lighting, and less indoor air pollutants. Thanks to today’s technology, we’re now able to build a custom home that satisfies a homeowner’s desire to lessen its environmental impact and leaves the world a healthier place for future generations.
If you and your family are hoping to build a green home in Northern VA, here are the criteria most experts, including the Green Building Alliance, agree make up the gold standard for sustainable design.
- Using products manufactured with environmentally sustainable components and techniques, including Energy Star appliances that promote energy-efficiency. Once focused on windows, heating and cooling, and ventilation, the Energy Star label now includes other components such as lighting and installation.
- Reduction and recycling of construction site waste.
- Positive impact on health and wellness factors, including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness and comfort.
- Adherence to the HERS evaluation of energy efficiency and forecasted energy costs within a home.
A Green Certified Home in Northern VA
Most of our clients are surprised to learn just how many shades of green there are in sustainable home design. At Foley, we rely on the standards set by the National Association of Homebuilders’ (NAHB) National Green Building Certification. Together with the International Code Council, the NAHB has established a nationally recognized standard definition of green building for homes.
- Energy Efficiency: Lighting that uses less energy and generates less heat; appliances that use less energy and water and reduce utility costs; tight air ducts that eliminate indoor temperature fluctuations, as well as excess moisture and dust; and properly installed insulation and air sealing.
- Water Efficiency: Low-flow plumbing fixtures and water conserving appliances that save water and reduce costs.
- Resource Efficiency: Added protection from rain intrusion into the home by using roof overhangs and drip edges.
- Lot Development: Tree preservation, which helps reduce storm water runoff and provides shading during the hot summer months; on-site storm water management that reduces the potential for flooding; low-maintenance landscaping; and building walkable communities that encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle of residents.
- Indoor Environment Quality: The use of Low-VOC materials that limit emissions of pollutants in the home and improve indoor air quality. These include paints, wood finishes, adhesives, and carpeting.
At Foley, we believe the green movement is an important one and we encourage our Northern VA clients to learn more about it, including the tax credits that may be available to them. We invite you to schedule a conversation with us to discuss our approach to green design build, and we invite you to download our free guide that lays out the Top 10 Reasons to Choose Foley for your next home project.