How Do You Find A Green Home?
1. Understanding Green, High Performance, Homes?
Is a home green if it has Energy Star appliances and LED lights or solar panels? Or, is a home green if it has been third-party verified and proven to meet a range of national or international green building standards? There is a long list of green features that we find in homes today and a short list of programs where homes have been evaluated and tested to ensure they meet certain standards. The recognized certification programs are: The National Green Building Standards (NGBS), Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED), ecoSelect, and Energy Star. To be considered truly “green” the house should be third party verified and found to meet at least one of these standards.
Compared to a normal code-built home, green homes are designed and constructed to be more durable and require less maintenance, have lower monthly operating costs, have better indoor air quality and overall are more environmentally friendly. From an energy efficiency standpoint, a green home should be at least 30% more energy efficient.
2. Green Features
There are many things that we can do to our homes to make them more energy efficient and/or more environmentally sound. Many homeowners are updating homes to make them greener and builders are incorporating some of these features into new construction.
Examples of green features are:
· Active solar design
· Energy Star appliances
· EPA WaterSense plumbing fixtures
· Electric car charging station
· Fresh air ventilation
· Geo thermal HVAC system
· High efficiency toilets
· Insulated basement walls
· LED lighting
· Locally sourced materials
· Low VOC paints/sealants
· On demand hot water heater
· Passive solar design
· Programmable thermostats
· Solar panels
· Radiant barrier roof deck
· Rainwater collection
· Sealed attic
· Sealed combustion FP
· Sealed crawl space
· Solar active heating
· Solar hot water
· Solar passive heating
· Drought resistant landscaping
How Do You Know That A Home Is Truly Green?
3. Define What Is Important to You
When searching for a green home, it will help you, and your Realtor, if you define what is important to you. Do you want a home that meets National Green Building Standards, a home that is net-zero energy (meaning the house produces as much energy as it uses) or do you want a green home but a lighter shade of green is fine with you? Click below to get your Guide on Finding a Green Home in the Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh metro region. This Guide lists the features that make up green, explains the third-party verification standards and provides a list of green neighborhoods and builders throughout The Triangle.
4. Contact A Realtor
Realtors have access to advanced tools that allow us to search in different ways for green homes. Your realtor – especially if he or she really understands green building – will be your best partner in finding a home and ultimately making that home yours. Let Real Estate Experts, or your agent, explain our advanced tools and how we can find the home/area/neighborhood you are looking for.