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Eco-friendly homes, otherwise known as green homes, are built with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly materials and designs. These house designs help keep the occupants of the home healthy, and the efficient use of resources aids in preventing pollution and environmental deterioration.
To live in an eco-friendly home your costs could range from low-investment to high-investment. On the lower end, you’ll find simple additions that can have a big impact, such as upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors, ENERGY STAR® appliances and lighting, and water-saving bathroom fixtures.
Major additions such as solar panels will make your home more energy efficient, but are a larger financial commitment. Many of these investment pay off over time. Chinburg Properties recently built a Portsmouth neighborhood of high-performance homes with energy ratings that translated into energy cost savings of more than $1,200 per year.
Building a green home from the ground up is easier than retrofitting an existing home, but both options hold the potential to realize considerable financial savings.
Energy-saving measures like ceiling and wall insulation may be difficult to retrofit into an existing home (and depending on the scope, may not even by possible) but when you’re starting from scratch it is easier to incorporate features like blown in cellulose insulation, low-flow plumbing, sustainable materials and much more. If you think you may want to make your home green someday, talk to your new home builder about it during your original building project — you may be able to avoid costly and bothersome renovations in the future if you invest in building green from the beginning.
The best place to start is simply with a conversation. Our knowledgeable professionals can work with you toward creating a green home building plan that fits your goals, your budget and your lifestyle. Here are some considerations we’ll discuss as you think about planning your eco-friendly home:
Orienting your home to take advantage of the sun can have a positive impact on your energy bills. This is critical if you are planning to use solar. You may also want to consider building near mature, well-established deciduous trees, which will protect your home in the summer from the heat and allow natural warmth from the sun in the winter when the leaves fall.
The pre-planning is where many of your eco-friendly design decisions will be made. For example, you want to thoughtfully plan a home that is well insulated, doesn’t provide more space than you need, and offers opportunities to use low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and carpets.
Roof overhangs can help manage water so that it drips further away from the foundation. When you see a home that has long icicles hanging from the roofline, that is an indication that there is heat escaping in that location, and the insulation could be tightened up to seal in heat.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, pay close attention to your insulation. It’s much easier to install the right kind of insulation from the beginning of a new home instead of changing it out after construction is complete. Insulation prevents heat from escaping in the winter and keeps the home cooler in the summer, requiring less power. It is also much more comfortable to live in, as you will minimize drafts and cold spots.
You can check in with your builder about recycling construction waste. You can also minimize environmental impact by asking the contractor to avoid cutting down any more trees than is necessary and implementing erosion control protections, such as managing the disturbed soil to prevent runoff during heavy rain.
Perhaps you want to make some simple tweaks like adding ENERGY STAR windows and appliances, or maybe you want to dive deeper into sustainable building materials and solar. Whatever level of commitment you choose, the team at Chinburg will build your new green home to ENERGY STAR standards. In fact, Chinburg has been chosen as Energy Star partner of the year for the past 4 years, a national honor earned by only a handful of construction companies in the entire USA.
As an eco-friendly option, carefully planned and environmentally friendly communities preserve open space and minimize the impact on the area’s natural resources.
The goal for all Chinburg properties is a beautifully designed and constructed home with a low carbon footprint and energy savings for the customer. In all of our projects, we strive for original, thoughtful site design that takes advantages of existing land features. We try to preserve open space and minimize any impact on surrounding land.
From simple additions to more expensive renovations, there are numerous ways to create energy-efficient homes, including:
For well over a decade, we have been building environmentally friendly homes and developments to ENERGY STAR standards. In fact we’ve been awarded the highly competitive ENERGY STAR partner of the award, for 4 years in a row.
We have earned a reputation as a home-building leader in the region. Always on the cutting edge of new energy-efficient approaches to development and building, we have built two 100% high-performance neighborhoods on the Seacoast of New Hampshire.
The best place to start is simply with a conversation. Please contact us to chat with one of our knowledgeable building professionals, and tell us about your goals, budget and needs for your home. We will work with you to create a green building plan that fits you and your life. There are many green building options that await you at Chinburg Properties.