Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Energy Savings in a Green Home are Significant

There are many areas where you can experience significant energy savings in a green home. By working with an architect in the early design stages, many of these areas can be addressed in the design of an energy efficient home, helping you to save money in the future and enjoy a healthier home:

1) Footprint: Reduce the size of your home. Designing only as much space as your family needs will keep your energy usage to a minimum right from the start.

2) Insulation: Even if you do nothing else, by choosing a superior building envelope for your home like structural insulated panels (SIP panels) and/or an insulated concrete form foundation system (ICF), you will enjoy huge savings in heating and cooling your home (up to 50%-60% over a home without SIPs).

3) Windows: Windows are a break in the thermal insulating barrier of your home. The higher quality window you choose the better performance the entire home will achieve.

4) Passive solar design: By incorporating sunlight for lighting and heat and natural ventilation into the basic home design, you can reduce the size of mechanical systems and lighting in the home.

5) Heating system: Consider a renewable energy system to heat and cool the space and tap water in your home (solar, wind, geothermal).

6) Ventilation: Incorporate an air-to-air exchanger, or heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system into your home; replacing stale air with fresh outdoor air while maintaining the temperature inside the home and conserving energy.

There are many other areas of the home that can be addressed through design and material selection which can increase energy efficiency and save money over the life of your home. Starting with these major areas, future savings and a better environment will be ensured.


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