A green-built home is simply a house that is constructed using processes that are environmentally responsible and resources that are well-designed and constructed to operate with more energy efficiency. A maintained green home can reduced costs for energy, water, operations and maintenance. Some green homes incorporate sustainable materials in their construction like recycled content, or made from renewable resources. Some green homes are now landscaped with native plants that survive without watering. Green homes usually cost more up front, but can save money over the life of the building through lower operating costs. Modern day green homes offer more climate control in the home that results in comfort year round. Homeowners enjoy lower energy costs. The most important consideration when building or buying a green home is ensuring the home is certified by a recognizable third party verified program such as the Greater Houston Builders Association’s Green Built Gulf Coast (GBGC), Masco Home Services’ Environments for Living, or the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED for Homes. These are all programs that vary in some ways, but all highlight the same six most important components of a green home:
• Site Design and Development
• Lot Design, Preparation, Development
• Resource Efficiency
• Energy Efficiency
• Water Efficiency
• Indoor Environmental Quality
These are also programs that may be coupled together for dual or tri certifications for more distinction. A certified home ensures the validity of green claims and account for the many elements, while also providing a classification of the green home such as Platinum (the green-est), Gold, Silver and Bronze.
To find out more about GHBA’s Green Built Gulf Coast Program, visit www.greenbuiltgulfcoast.org or talk with your RREA Realtor about your purchasing concerns.
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