You may have heard the term “Green Home” before. Get ready to hear it much more frequently. Everyday investors, venture capitalists and general contractors have poured a lot of time, effort and money into the notion that higher-end, progressive towns such as San Carlos have folks who are willing to build a Green Home.
So what exactly is a Green Home? Simply put, Green Homes are built with environmentally responsible materials and thrive on the goal of using little, if any, energy from sources that are not 100% natural. Green Homes are generally broken down into four categories: (1) Energy Efficiency (2) Water Conservation (3) Indoor Air Quality (4) Earth Friendly Materials and Practices. Lets take a brief look at the four categories in more detail:
(1) Energy Efficiency. Here the builder will use Solar energy for electric power and hot water, high efficiency plumbing, tankless water heaters, high efficiency furnaces, skylights, electric car plugs in the garage, high efficiency lighting, radiant roof barrier sheathing….and much more.
(2) Water Conservation. The builder will strive to conserve water by using dual flush toilets, low flow faucets, drought tolerant landscaping, grey water systems and rain harvesting systems.
(3) Indoor Air Quality and Health. Fresh air ventilation systems, eco-cabinets, whole house vacuum, and eco-flooring options.
(4) Earth Friendly Materials and Practices. Lumber certified by FSC, engineered wood, recylced content drywall, integrated pavers, composite decking, reclaimed wood flooring and onsite recycling of construction debris.
Is San Carlos ready for Green Homes? My feeling is that we are ready. While there is no doubt that building a Green Home has many wonderful benefits, some will wonder how building a Green Home will compare against building a traditional home in terms of cost and resale. Lets take a closer look at this question. Most Green Builders will tell you that building a Green Home is the same cost, or slightly higher than building a traditional home. However, many are quick to point out that while the initial cost may be slightly higher than your conventional home, homeowners may quickly recoup their intial expenditures through savings on energy, home efficiency, health and the many other benefits that come along with a Green Home.
The big question for me is the durability of Green Homes. How do the systems and designs hold up at year 10, 20, 30, etc.? How do expected maintenance costs compare against a conventional homes? Since Green Homes are just now starting to make their way into our local market we will need some time to see how the costs and resale compare against conventional homes.
For more information on Green Homes, please click on http://clarum.com. Clarum is one local company building Green Homes that appears to be at the forefront of the industry.