You probably already know that a “green home” has nothing to do with the color you paint it. Green building simply refers to homes that respect the environment by making a positive contribution to it, or at the very least by having only minimal negative impact on it.
But what exactly are the standards necessary for green building? Well, there is no single standard. All it takes is a forward-thinking sense of design that conserves natural resources and uses eco-friendly materials and practices. Read on to find out what it means to be a green builder in Austin.
How Green Built Homes Help the Planet—And Your Wallet
Of course, the primary benefit of building energy-efficient and environmentally conscious homes is to make responsible choices for the planet we inhabit. But there are also plenty of ways that green construction helps save on costs for homebuyers.
- Location. Choosing a location that’s easily accessible to public transportation reduces the need to drive—and therefore curbs unnecessary emissions.
- Insulation. Insulating a home for superior temperature regulation reduces energy costs for homeowners. This can include using green materials and strategically placing shade trees and windows.
- Energy efficiency. Using energy-efficient household appliances, such as Energy Star rated fridges, AC units and laundry machines, lowers homeowners’ power consumption.
- Building materials. Sourcing eco-friendly building materials avoids the harmful chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that off-gas from many household products.
- Water efficiency.Homeowners can ensure water efficiency with items like low-flow toilets and showerheads, and rainwater collection barrels. Using eco-friendly irrigation methods such as xeriscaping also conserves water.
- Renewable energy sources. Using solar or wind to generate energy is more environmentally friendly. In many cases, homeowners can even sell back unused electricity to power companies.
Who Certifies a Home as Green?
Green built homes aren’t just green because green builders say so. Organizations exist to help guide green construction projects and certify homes that are environmentally friendly, including:
- LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). As one of the most popular green building certification programs in the world, LEED governs the approval of green development projects through rating systems dedicated to the design, operation. construction, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
- Energy Star. This program, run by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, provides ratings for appliances and construction components (such as windows) to increase energy efficient design and building.
- WaterSense. As another EPA-run program, WaterSense helps designers incorporate high water efficiency products into their projects, as well as guiding homebuyers into making more eco-friendly purchases.
Ways Mangum Can Help You Go Green
In addition to using plenty of green building materials—such as icynene, Hebel blocks, ICF walls, thermasteel and structural steel, and more—we also offer the following green building services:
- Rainwater collection. With four main types of systems (gray water, rainwater, harvesting and storage), rainwater collection focuses on providing distribution of water after filtration and processing.
- Geothermal systems. When you use energy from the earth to heat or cool your home, you can lower your energy footprint and slash your energy bills at the same time.
- Solar/Wind. When you utilize solar and wind features in your home, you’re rethinking the way you consume energy and living more sustainably. Plus, since your home produces energy as you need it, any surplus electricity can be sold back to the community.
Looking for Green Home Builders in Austin?
Here at Mangum Builders, we’re green home builders who are committed to designing and building homes that are not just beautiful but environmentally responsible, too. For years, we’ve built high-performance, energy-efficient homes that combine elegant design and environmental responsibility—to benefit both you and the land.