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Benefits of Green Building

These days, "green" is everywhere – in the news, at the supermarket, on your
"recycled" coffee cup, even in your child's classroom.

Yet through all the hype, you may be wondering why green should matter to you
and your family. Let's take a look at some of the health-related facts:

  • Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors.  Levels of harmful
        volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be as much as 10 times higher indoors
        than outdoors.
  • As many as 15% of Americans are allergic to their own homes.
  • The number of asthma cases in the U.S. more than doubled from 1980-1998 –surpassing 17 million.
  • 60% of homes and 30% of commercial buildings are classified as "sick," according to the EPA.
  • You can't see sick air.

There are many more statistics that point to widespread health risks from poor indoor air quality, as well as skyrocketing water and energy costs, and large amounts of recyclable materials that end up in landfills each year.  Many people are concerned about global warming and the destruction of our natural resources.

So "going green" can help ensure that you and your loved ones enjoy environments that are clean, healthy and safe.

It's the law, too. In January 2010, Governer Schwartzenegger signed CALGreen legislation that, among other things, establishes a 20% mandatory reduction in indoor water use, diversion of 50% of construction waste from landfills and use of low-pollutant emitting interior finish materials. The Green Building Code goes into effect January 2011, with a whole slew of green building practices to be required.

At Green Building Solutions, our mission is to make green building accessible: easy, worthwhile, and gratifying, as well as financially sensible. We have a passion for green building, and for doing it right.

At a minimum, you can implement upgrades that reduce your utility bills—creating the kind of "green" that stays in your wallet.  Done properly, these upgrades improve your comfort and safety in a healthier home environment.

These upgrades also increase the value of your home. Research shows that for every $1 reduction in annual fuel bills, home values increase by $10 to $25.  The lower utility bills, comfort, health effects, and other benefits of a home energy upgrade, including a Home Performance with Energy Star certificate, are features that can make your house stand out from the rest. 

Lower utility bills help you offset the costs of the improvements, too.  In some cases, the savings can amortize the costs of a loan to pay for the improvements.  So you will not be out of pocket much if anything until the loan is repaid, and then the savings are all gravy.

If you go further with a remodel, you can also improve the durability of the construction, using materials and techniques that make the building last longer than typical construction, while requiring less maintenance.

Beyond the basics are issues of sustainability of resources used in construction.  The more environmentally conscious our clients are, the further they want us to go in selecting renewable materials, using recycled material, considering the energy used in producing and transporting the components of construction, and so forth.

Even beyond that is consideration of the policies of those companies producing the materials, such as how they treat their employees and how environmentally responsible they are.

However, not everybody wishes to spend the extra money on materials satisfying these various requirements.  We are prepared to discuss the cost/benefit trade-offs involved with you so that you find the level of "green" that's right for you and your budget.

At Green Building Solutions, we believe that every green choice, big or small, is a positive step for the future.  So call us TODAY and let us help you get started living in a healthier, more energy-efficient home.

What is green building?  It may mean different things to different people. For many people, it means reducing their environmental impact or lowering utility costs.  For others, it may mean protecting the health, safety and well-being of their families. Buildings and building materials have a substantial impact on the environment and our health. Consider just a few statistics:

  • Buildings account for 33% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide
  • An estimated 4 billion pounds of carpet ends up in landfills each year
  • Noise is one of the most pervasive pollutants today, negatively impacting health
        and well-being
  • Water use in the United States consumes enough water to fill a line of Olympic
        size swimming pools reaching around the world EVERY DAY-more than 300 billion gallons!

Green buildings are designed to be more conservative of the environment, as well as healthy and safe for occupants. The design, construction and operation of green buildings includes consideration of energy efficiency, water conservation, environmentally responsible material selection, reduction of waste and pollution, and healthy indoor environmental quality. Most often, people want to build green for some combination of these reasons, so each project has unique green characteristics.

Building green can:

  • Reduce health and safety risks
  • Save you money
  • Increase the value of your home
  • Reduce energy and water use
  • Improve durability
  • Reduce maintenance
  • Help conserve natural resources
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Help stem the tide against global warming
  • Keep reusable materials out of landfill

Whether you're building, remodeling, or working on a home improvement project, green alternatives exist in nearly every product category. And, if you're concerned about the costs associated with building green, the good news is that savings in energy and water use and health benefits more than offset the extra upfront costs over time. As a bonus, the resale value of your home is increased, and it is likely to sell faster. Some of the immediate measurable results experienced by owners and occupants of green spaces include:

  • 7.5% - 15% increase in property values, faster sales of "green" properties
  • Up to 75% decrease in operating costs
  • 16% increase in worker productivity (in office settings)
  • 20% better test performance for students
  • Patients discharged from hospitals an average of 2.5 days sooner
  • Increase in retail sales
  • Increased production in factories

These benefits, documented in non-residential buildings, translate to better environments in residential living, as well as increased property value. And if you have a home office, your productivity could improve.


Money Saving Tip:

Tune up your heating and air conditioning system.
Regular maintenance can lower your operating costs and
extend the service life of your equipment. And do you
change your air filters regularly? Use a programmable
thermostat? Taking small steps such as these can
make your wallet as well as your home greener.
Get Tax Credits Now
 
 
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