10 Pointers for Building Green
- THINK GREEN FROM THE START.
If you look at green as something to add later on, it becomes expensive. By incorporating green elements in the initial design of your new home, you can include simple ideas that have a lasting impact, low cost and fast payback.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Being informed will help you to determine what is important to you.
- GET PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED EARLY
By purchasing a home with Express Modular, you get the benefit of our design services as well as those of our third party ENERGY STAR® and green certification agency. Working with a local architect or green design professional can further improve the design when site conditions are considered.
- DESIGN YOUR HOME TO THE SITE
It’s easier to design a home to a specific site rather than finding a site for a specific home design. For instance, orienting the home to take advantage of wind and sunlight can reduce your energy costs.
- KEEP THE "THERMAL ENVELOPE" INTACT
Start your green effort with an ENERGY STAR® certified builder and design to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible. Windows, doors, and skylights can all poke holes in your home’s thermal envelope. The fewer holes we have within the design or the better job we do at sealing them, the more energy efficient
the home is.
- KEEP ALL TRADES INVOLVED
Green building is a total approach to construction, so your builder and any subcontractors need to know what special features your new home has. For example: If you invest in extra insulation for your walls and ceiling, but your HVAC contractor sizes the heating and cooling units for typical insulation levels, you will have an oversized system that costs you more upfront and uses more energy than necessary.
- BUY IT ONCE
Investing in quality materials when you first purchase your home will save money in the long run and reduce waste. For example, it may cost 20% more for 50-year roofing system than a 15-year roof, but since the latter will need to be replaced two or three times, the 50-year system is a worthwhile investment.
- INVEST IN HIDDEN COMPONENTS FIRST
If your budget is limited, be sure to invest in those areas that would be difficult to change later. For example, opt for 2x6 exterior walls and better wall insulation to ensure a good thermal envelope rather than getting high-end countertops. You can always add better countertops later but increasing the insulation of the exterior walls would be much more difficult.
- STAY NATURAL AND STAY LOCAL
In general, the more natural a product is, the less harmful chemicals and negative impact on the environment it has. However, this does not mean that all natural products are good and manmade products are bad. If you ship a natural product by three trucks, two boats and a train, you use up more resources than you save.
- INSULATE, INSULATE, INSULATE
One of the best investments you can make in your home to build green is insulation. It reduces heating and cooling costs, is inexpensive, makes the home comfortable and helps to control moisture and noise.