Green Homes

What is a Green Home?

Let’s talk about green homes. Not the color they’re painted, but the type of sustainable building created to increase energy efficiency and comply with environmental building codes.

“The overall objective of having a green home is to have a place designed and created to reduce as much negative impact on the environment as possible…”

Let’s start by defining what a green home (also known as a sustainable) home is. A green home is an environmentally sustainable house that is designed, constructed and operated through processes to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.

The overall objective of having a green home is to have a place designed and created to reduce as much negative impact on the environment as possible, both for humans and the surrounding environment itself. The top and most basic ways to address this include:

  1. Making sure your home uses energy, water and other resources as efficiently as possible.
  2. Working to reduce waste and pollution in an effort to reduce a carbon footprint.

How do I make my home more Green?

Now we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s dive into some more unique and specific aspects of creating a green home:

  1. Utilizing renewable resources such as solar power, wind power, hydropower and/or using plants through green roofs and rain gardens.
  2. Using low-impact building materials.
  3. Using gravel or permeable concrete in the foundation instead of conventional concrete. Why? Either of those options more easily replenishes groundwater.
  4. Utilizing materials & designs that work to reduce the leakage of air. (Such as hot air in winter & cold air in summer. When all the air stays tightly sealed in the home, this means less cranking on the heater or AC!)
  5. Implementing gray water systems. 

What/why you need to know about Green Home concepts

For Californians, creating a green home means getting to know and following the Title 24 regulations (or at least having a trusted real estate agent and contractor team who does!). The latest cycle was written in 2013 and put into play 2014. (As rewrites happen every 3 years, expect changes to be enforced again in 2016.)

Other states have specific regulations and rebate programs with the same goal of green energy-efficient homes. For a full list of credits and rebates by state, see here: http://www.dsireusa.org/.

There are many aspects to these regulations. Let’s ease into them by breaking down the different home stages they address and the basic requirement dates for each.

  1. New Construction

    1. Regulations & Rules for new construction went into play July 1, 2014. These are critical to comply with when constructing a new structure.
  2. Renovation

    1. New laws are being implemented in 2017; homeowners will need to make sure they take care of when renovating their home.
  3. Resale

    1. What you will you need to make sure of when putting your home on the market? Be on the look out for more articles and blogs on the changes coming into effect in 2020.

“Find an architect that is highly trained and trustworthy. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification means the professional has gone a through a rigorous training program.”

Sustainable Architecture & Green Design

  1. Our goal is to be a hub for all things green. We invite you to check out our directory for great and experienced architects near you. And, to keep you up-to-date on what questions to ask an architect or designer, keep a lookout for our latest blogs and articles.
  2. For example, you probably want an architect that is highly trained and trustworthy. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification means the professional has gone a through a rigorous training program that has provided them with an in-depth knowledge of green building requirements and Title 24 approved techniques. There is also the CGBP (Certified Green Building Professional) certificate and several solid, reliable college programs in Green Interior & Architectural Design. 

Hopefully this page has helped summarize the most critical aspects of green homes and what the regulations are for them. We invite you to check out our directory to get in touch with experienced architects and experts in green homes near you.