15 Green Building Tips

by leeroy jarvis, broker of cabo cribs

Being environmentally conscious is a fad that not only makes a better social impact, but that can actually save you money. When building a home this is important to keep in mind because it is an investment that carries a lot of weight and importance. That is why more and more people are opting to build green homes so that they can leave a smaller ecological footprint on the environment and save money while they are at it! The methods to change your home from an emission-producing powerhouse into an energy saving greenhouse are simpler than one might think. To start off, all the conventional ways of saving energy can be implemented when creating a green space for you and your family.

Creating a green home for your family creates a positive atmosphere as well as teaches individuals the importance of surrounding environmental issues. There is no doubt that in the long run, going green saves you tons of money, however the initial investment needed to go green can sometimes be costly. Consider obtaining a home equity line of credit to finance your green home projects.

Your Day-to Day Life: Cost Effective Benefits of Going Green
In order to have a productive and efficient green home, cost cutting is required. For example, you can use less electricity and try to eliminate the products that have a negative impact on the environment. Here are some of the top reasons why you should choose to go green in order to keep your wallet fatter.
·      Eliminates the stress of paying high monthly bills.

·       Use extra income on trips, special occasions and outings.

·      Reduces your carbon footprint.

15 Green Home Building Ideas
1. Location, Location, Location: When buying property, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, avoid building west-facing homes so that you can minimize sun exposure. Second, you should avoid building homes in areas that are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods. Third, check if public transportation and local grocery shops are easily accessible and not too far away. This is important so that you avoid taking your own vehicle to run errands in order to reduce carbon emissions.

2. Smaller Saves Money: Small homes have comparably smaller impacts on the environment compared to larger homes. A house that is larger will cost more to heat and cool.

3. Energy Efficient Equipment: ENERGY STAR labeled equipment signify that that particular product has been deemed as energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ENERGY STAR equipment is a popular choice for people who are trying to be environmentally friendly. These appliances offer significant cost and energy savings without compromising performance.

4. Proper Insulation: Insulation is one of the most important things to consider when building a green home since heating and cooling account for about 50% of your home’s energy consumption. Air leaks such as around windows, doors and ductwork generates heat loss and more expenses. Proper insulation not only reduces energy consumption, but also brings down your electricity bills substantially.

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The old saying still rings true today and when done properly plays a huge role in keeping the environment safe. Reduce your consumption of products that damage the environment. Reuse old material such as wood floors, doors, and windows in your next home. And lastly, recycle materials in the construction of your new home like recycled glass, aluminum, recycled tile, reclaimed lumber, and recycled plastic.

6. Sustainable Building Materials: Using environmentally or eco-friendly products should be on your list when building an eco-friendly home. Roofing and building material, cabinets, counters and insulation to your flooring should all be environmentally friendly. Use recycled plastic, reclaimed lumber, recycled glass or natural products such as bamboo, cork and linoleum to build your next home.

7. Soak Up The Sun: Solar energy is the hottest renewable resource you can use when building your next eco-friendly home. Solar panels are an emerging technology for people who want to utilize the natural power of the sun to power their homes.  Solar panels may be expensive at first, but the long-term savings of this method of energy consumption help the planet and your wallet. The location of your house and the way you have constructed solar panels can determine how much power you can collect. Interestingly, government grants, incentives and tax breaks are a huge bonus to those who want to use solar power in their home.

8. Energy Star Windows: Energy efficient windows labeled as ENERGY STAR windows are an emerging trend in the window market. The ratings for these windows determine how energy efficient they will be; the lower the rating means your windows will be

more energy efficient. The energy savings provided by each window are enough to cover the added cost per window.

9. Rainwater Harvesting Systems and Tankless Water Heaters:  This one here doesn’t really apply to Los Cabos since we get so little rainfall so for those who are building in Rainer areas install a rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater from roofs and then store it in a tank. The collected water can then be used for toilets and sprinkler systems. Rain barrels are one of the most common methods of rainwater harvesting being used today. This system would be great for an area like Cancun or the Caribbean side where they get lots of rain.

Tankless water heaters heat only the amount water that is needed as it is passes through the electric coil. The benefits are twofold. First, it eliminates excess energy costs as it heats up only the amount of water needed and secondly, you can get ample storage space by eliminating the hot water tank.

10. Eco-Friendly Lighting: Both LED and CFL cost more upfront but use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Since they offer significant cost savings in the long run, they are a good option to explore for your green home.

11. Water Conserving Fixtures: Toilets, low flow faucets, and showerheads are some of the things to consider changing when building a green home. The proper products can cut down on your water bill cost and make your home much more environmentally friendly. Another thing to consider is buying washing machines and dishwashers that conserve as much water as possible.

12. Programmable Thermostat: Since 50% of our energy consumption goes towards heating and cooling of our home, the simplest way to cut down this cost and reduce the electricity bill is to install a programmable thermostat. Your HVAC system will kick in when the thermostat reaches the designated temperature and work to save you money. (More info in next point) Also a good thing to keep in mind is that a slight 3-5 % of your energy bill can be saved if you can set your thermostat 1 degree down in the winter and up by 1 degree in the summer.

13. HVAC System: Get a HVAC system properly installed in your house so that it can reach its full potential. Make sure ducts are short, straight and airtight and that the ducts are professionally tested with the goal of keeping leakage under 10%

14. Efficient Landscaping:  Smart landscaping can protect your home from direct sunlight during the summer and can help with more exposure to the sun during the winter. This can be done by planting trees on southern and western sides of your home
which keep your home cooler by blocking sunlight during the summer and allowing more sun to reach your house in the winter when leaves have fallen.

15. Harness Geothermal Energy: Geothermal energy is known as energy from the earth and is a consumption saving method you should consider when building your next green home. During the winter season, geothermal heat pumps use the earth loop to extract heat from the ground to your home’s HVAC system; in the summer season, heat is extracted from the air and moved back into the earth through the loop system. It makes a big difference on energy consumption by distributing it evenly through the earth depending on its seasons. Geothermal energy requires more upfront investment but provide unlimited energy to heat and cool your home.

Ways to Go Green in Your Home
It might be intimidating to go green when there are so many methods and different ways to go about it.  Even worse, people assume that it is costly and do not want to cough up too much cash in order to be a part of the green revolution. However, the various methods should make it easier to pick and choose the best ways for your household to go green and it is proven in the long run that the money you save outweighs the costs. Other simple ways to go green in your household include:

·      Turning off lights or appliances when you don’t use them.

·      Creating a family energy plan that everyone can plan their daily routine by.

·      Being mindful when you’re not using something that’s plugged in because it can still eat away at potentially saved energy (this

          includes things like laptops, cellphone chargers, essentially everything you can think of that is plugged in).

·      Plan family game nights and other fun ways to spend your time together instead of consuming energy through Internet or TV.

·      Buy recyclable containers and reuse plastics for food storage.

Give CaboCribs.com a call for a list of green home builders in the area. There aren’t many but we have managed to find a few good ones. Contact LeeRoy at 011-521-624-164-2607 or email: leeroy@cabocribs.com.