Green building, sustainable homes, eco-friendly, re-cycle, re-use, carbon footprint... these are terms we are hearing or reading at every turn. It seems this is going beyond a fad or trendy idea. The fact that we need to pay more attention to the planet that we get our life from is imbedding itself in the collective minds of humanity. There is a definite paradigm shift that is pointing us in that direction with growing momentum.
The Built Green BC website sums up some good reasons why this has become the focus of the Canadian Homes Builders Assocation of BC.
Built GreenTM promotes construction of buildings that are healthier for the occupants and healthier for the environment. Sustainable or "green" building practices can reduce the tremendous impact that building has on both people and nature.
? Better energy efficiency means comfort and long term savings on monthly energy bills for the homeowner.
? Healthier indoor air means comfort, better health and peace of mind for your family.
? Durable, reduced-maintenance materials mean a longer life for the home and more long term savings.
? Preserving natural resources means leaving more for future generations to enjoy.
In a recent conversation with Ken Dahlen, of Master Builder Keith Construction, we discussed how it is only a matter of time before provinces and municipalities legislate incentives that reward and penalize taxpayers according to the energy efficiency of the homes they own and occupy.
Keith Construction is a leader in energy and environmentally conscious home building and renovation. Geothermal heating and cooling, heat pumps, Low-E Argon windows, dual flush toilets, high efficiency furnaces are just some of the products they are committed to using to make your home more earth friendly and more comfortable and cost-efficient for you to live in.
Many of the energy and comfort features are covered up and no longer visible when the home is completed. That's why it is important for home buyers to ask questions and ask for evidence of some or all of these features?
- Can I add solar panels in the future to produce my own solar electric power?
- Are the separation walls in attached units made from insulated concrete forms?
- Is there insulation under the basement concrete floor?
- Are the exterior wall studs staggered and offset so that continuous insulation is woven through the offset studs?
- Is the attic hatch double insulated to reduce loss of warm or cool air and energy consumption?
- Was environmental paint used to reduce toxins in our living environment?
It's encouraging to observe that lots of questions and more and more great ideas are becoming the focus of how we build and live in our homes and how that helps to reduce the impact on our earth.