Building Houses Green is a New Approach for Builders

Aug 15 2015 / 2:17 pm Was written by Atwell & Co. Comments Off

It’s no secret that building houses “green” is a new and powerful trend with home building contractors across America and Europe. Green builders may have an edge over competitors that rely on traditional home building methods as people focus on environmental awareness and reducing their carbon footprint. European homebuilders are slightly ahead of the curve when it comes to building houses green, but progressive green builders in the U.S. are catching up rather quickly. What are some of the approaches home building companies use for building houses green?

  • Bamboo floors

    Bamboo flooring materials have taken increased popularity recently as they are durable, resist dents and scratches, and are available in a wide range of finishes. Bamboo grows much faster than hardwood trees and can be harvested without killing the plant.

  • Solar panels

    Solar panels have been around for years but recent advances in solar panel technology make them much more efficient than older panels, and any home building feature that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels is a step in the right direction.

  • Solar hot water heaters

    Popular in Europe for years where electricity is far more expensive, solar water heaters are installed on the home’s roof and are fairly simple arrangements with solar panels providing energy to warm a tank of water. For showers, people flip a toggle switch 15 or 20 minutes ahead of time to bring the water to the desired temperature. The water is hot only when it needs to be and as a result is energy saving and more efficient than traditional water heaters.

  • Steel Framing

    Building houses green begins with the home’s infrastructure, and using steel framing instead of pine studs makes sense for a variety of reasons. Steel framing is fireproof, immune to termites, resists warping as it ages, is stronger, and has many other desirable attributes.

  • Green roof systems

    Most green roofing systems consist of four layers—a waterproofing layer, a drainage layer, a growing medium, and the vegetation which gives a whole new meaning to building a house green. Green roof systems work in almost any climate, are warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and reduce rainwater runoff.

We are in a period of transition not only in this country, but also across most of the developed world where we are reexamining how we use the resources of this fragile planet. Home building with ‘green’ materials instead of traditional materials is a huge step forward and establishes a template for environmentally responsible home building in the future as well.

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