What is a “Green” Home? | LIDA Construction

What is a “Green” Home?

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Eco-Friendly Green Home Builders

 

Today’s technologies and sustainable materials make it easier and more affordable than ever to build your home “green” from the ground up. But what is a “green” home?

Green Building Canada defines a green building as “a resource-efficient method of construction that produces healthier buildings which have less impact on the environment and cost less to maintain.”

Environmentally responsible homes also help keep your utility costs down. Common features of a green home like higher levels of insulating material and high efficiency heaters and energy features can also add up to a higher resale value.

At LIDA Construction, we are trained and certified to Built Green standards. Built Green includes four tiers of certification (bronze, silver, gold and platinum.) These standards and our expertise ensure that your custom home will match your sustainability goals and budget.

Whether going green to you means building using only recycled, sustainable materials, or adding a few key features like solar panels or an energy efficient heat pump, any home can be made more eco-friendly.

Below are three of the many ways that your custom home build or renovation can be done with sustainability in mind:

1.    Location

Building your home to be more energy efficient doesn’t have to mean buying solar panels and all the latest automated technologies. When deciding to build a more environmentally friendly home, the first and arguably most important factor is location.

For many green builders, it simply makes sense to build on previously developed land that’s located closer to amenities and necessary infrastructure. This reduces the amount of driving the homeowner would have to do, since long commutes quickly outweigh the benefits of building specifically to reduce your carbon footprint.

Another part of location is how your home will be situated on the lot. A house with the largest exterior surfaces facing north and south will get the most sunlight— the most dependable source of heat and natural light.

2.    Energy Efficiency

A green home should be as energy efficient as possible. Whether or not your goal is to have your new or renovated home created to LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) standards, it’s important to consider your options for energy savings. This means looking closely at how well your home will be insulated, what types of alternative power sources make sense to use and what types of appliances you’ll choose and much more.

For instance, solar energy is becoming much more readily available for all homeowners. Solar panels are becoming a mainstream choice, since they harness the power of the sun to reduce the amount of electricity needed to power your home. Solar panels placed in an area that receives plenty of sunlight are a basic and effective way to reduce your environmental impact while saving on utility costs. There are also innovative new products like the Tesla Roof, which is designed to replace an entire roof. The specialized, durable Tesla tiles easily absorb light from the highest point on your home (the roof.) When not in use, the battery banks this power for times when a source of emergency light and power is needed during an outage.

Improving energy efficiency can also be as simple as choosing larger, triple-paned windows. Larger windows will absorb the maximum amount of sunlight, warming your home and keeping it brightly lit throughout the day. This reduces the amount of energy needed for heat and light.

Other ways to create energy efficiency includes things like efficient heat pumps or geothermal heating systems, or small wind turbines to capture and harness wind power. You can even devise a combination of wind, hydro and solar power.

3.    No-Fuss Green Home Technologies

Tankless water heater

This is another great way to be more energy efficient. With a tankless heater, water is heated on demand instead of being kept in a constantly heated tank. Traditional hot water tanks that hold a supply of hot water can be a huge energy drain and for larger families, may not be enough to ensure toasty baths and showers for everyone.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats let you control the climate in your home any time of day, anywhere you are. Smart thermostats can be used to program a daily schedule and let you change settings on a whim. If you’re going to be at work longer than expected, you can delay turning your heat or air conditioning on or off until later in the day. Being able to access your home’s climate control with a smart phone or tablet gives you the peace of mind in knowing that you’re not heating or cooling an empty house.

LED lighting

Many homeowners are already making the switch to LED lights for every room in their home.  Today’s LED’s are dimmable and they can integrate with Smart Home technology. They also stay much cooler than traditional incandescent bulbs, use about 75% less energy and last anywhere between 3-10 years depending on use.

Building Supplies

Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood doesn’t have to have a barn/rustic appearance. There are plenty of ways to achieve a modern, polished look using reclaimed lumber, and it can be used for major additions like flooring to smaller pieces like a headboard for your King-sized bed.

Fiber cement siding

A superior option to vinyl siding, fiber cement siding is non-toxic and made from a combination of cement, sand and wood fibres.  Made from recycled materials, it’s much more sustainable and designed to last 50+ years.

Low and No VOC paints

Unless you’re going for exposed brick or bare shiplap walls, the interior (and exterior) of your home will receive a few coats of paint. When considering the air quality of your new home and the ability to recycle/dispose of the paint safely, keep low and no VOC paints in mind. They’re free of harmful chemicals that off-gas VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into your home.

Composite decking

Made from recycled wood waste, paper and plastic, composite decking is tough and easy to maintain. It only needs to be cleaned once a year, doesn’t rot or splinter and doesn’t attract pests like termites.

Engineered flooring

If you can find reclaimed timber for your flooring, that is truly your best option if you want it to be 100% natural. If not, consider bamboo or engineered hardwood flooring that has been manufactured using a chemical-free process. Look for an engineered hardwood with a 2-6 mm thick veneer that can be sanded and refinished over time. This type of flooring can last up to 30 years.

Carpet made from recycled materials

These days, it’s even possible to get a beautiful carpet that’s made from materials such as recycled plastic bottles. These types of carpets are highly resistant to stains and are just as plush as any other product on the market.

Is a custom-built home on your wish list for the new year? Considering renovations or additions? There are many reasons to consider working some of these greener options into your design and build. At LIDA Construction, we’re experts at creating homes that exceed expectations, and we take great pride in creating homes that are designed to be as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible.

In fact, we are the proud recipients of the Silver Finalist Fortis Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency in New Residential Construction as well as the Grand VIBE Gold Winner “People’s Choice Award” for 2020. Don’t just take our word for it though, take a look at what our happy customers have to say here. When you’re ready to get started on your dream home project, give us a call.

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