What Makes a Home Green?

 In Company News

The desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle is a great reason to consider a green home, but did you know that going green can add value to your property and give you significant cost savings as well? Segal & Morel homes in Riverview Estates West and Riverview Estates Fairway Collection have been Energy Star® Certified since 2001 and have had National Green Building Standard Certification since 2010. We build outstanding homes in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Here, our seasoned professionals share what makes a home more sustainable and some of the added benefits a green home can provide.

Energy Efficiency

Optimizing your home’s energy efficiency involves a lot more than installing LED lighting, Energy Star®-rated appliances, and high-efficiency HVAC systems. Programmable thermostats insulated and sealed supply and return ductwork, high R-Value insulation, and Low-E windows that prevent heat from escaping in the winter and retain cool air in the summer all play integral roles in making a home as energy-efficient as possible.

Another important cost-effective measure that builders use in constructing green homes or performing luxury construction upgrades is to use exterior weather barriers, sealant, foam, and tape to reduce air infiltration by sealing off gaps and cracks, making the home airtight. These features also provide the utmost comfort, regardless of what the weather’s like outside.

Renewable Materials

Using rapidly renewable wood species, and engineered wood products for flooring and important structural elements such as roof trusses and wall and roof sheathing are crucial when making a green home. Builders also use recycled content materials in tile, carpet, and concrete formulations. There are many sustainable materials out there. Available options will depend on which specific materials your builder offers.

Water Efficiency

Low-flow faucets and toilets help save thousands of gallons of water each year. Automated rainwater collection systems also provide an easy way to take advantage of a sustainable natural resource. Tankless water heaters that heat water only when you need to use it save energy and reduce water consumption. Hot water recirculation systems and programmable sprinkler systems help conserve water as well.

Indoor Air Quality Features

Heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems should be properly sized for an efficient, effectively-ventilated green home. Fans can be used to release stale air to the outside, and a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) exchanges indoor air with fresh outside air while retaining the energy from the exhausted air and transferring it to the incoming unconditioned air. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes, paints, and wallpaper also may be used in a green home.

Outdoor Design and Landscaping

Preservation of trees and other plants that are native to the area is important when building an environmentally-friendly home. Landscaping should include vegetation that’s suitable for the climate and plants should be clustered according to their water needs. Impervious surfaces such as driveways, walkways, and patios should be minimized as much as possible. More porous or permeable surfaces allow water to penetrate the soil to filter out impurities and replenish the water table. Green home builders often use materials such as permeable pavers, grids, and other systems for this purpose.

Other Benefits of Building a Green Home

In addition to lessening your impact on the environment, purchasing or building a green home may make you eligible for national Energy Star® mortgage programs that incentivize energy efficiency. You may qualify for a larger mortgage, have access to lower interest rates, extra cash-back after closing, and discount loan origination fees and closing costs. Also, energy efficiency, sustainability, and significant savings on utilities and other costs are attractive to homebuyers and can easily boost the value of your green home when it comes time to sell.

Contact Us to Learn More About Building a Green Home

For more than 50 years, Segal & Morel has been building extraordinary homes with the highest levels of craftsmanship and quality materials in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We’re proud to offer green, Energy Star® certified homes that provide exceptional comfort, cost savings, and convenience while reducing your carbon footprint. To learn more, contact us online or call our office in Easton, PA, at 610-923-8422.

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