Habitat for Humanity GTA aspires to be a model green builder in the affordable housing industry and an advocate for the emerging build green movement. As part of our commitment to making our Habitat homes safe, decent and affordable for families, we also support the development of safe, healthy communities and a sustainable environment. The money Habitat families save on energy costs can help them make their mortgage payments and pay for food, clothing and other essentials.
Green building - Wikipedia
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In fact, slightly more buyers build green for economic incentives over environmental benefits. Building green can help you realize energy and water savings, reduce construction costs, increase your property value, decrease infrastructure strain, and allow you to qualify for tax breaks. For engineers, architects, developers, and contractors, going green is about using the right raw materials and a smart design to create a more efficient structure.
For example, heating and cooling can be the most energy-intensive processes in a home.
But architects and contractors can make adjustments to increase efficiency. By planning ahead, they can ensure that a building faces a certain direction to allow for more natural heat in a cold climate. Or, on the flip side, they could position it under consistent shade in a hot climate. Recycled materials or a well-planned design can often save you money.
Addressing stormwater and runoff management should be a high priority for builders and property owners.
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After all, more extreme weather patterns are battering areas around the country with storms and floods, and more land is being developed with impervious materials. The latter prevents stormwater and runoff from draining into the soil, meaning more pressure on sewer systems and the environment. Look for alternatives to concrete or asphalt barriers to reduce this problem. For instance, Truegrid Pavers has designed a cost-effective, recycled plastic paving solution that creates a durable yet permeable surface that water can easily pass through.
Ultimate Guide to Green Building
When the company built a , square-foot parking lot in Houston in preparation for the BMX World Championships, Truegrid utilized , pounds of recycled plastic to help the organization reduce its overall costs while adding parking spaces. Consider using recycled glass, drywall, steel, and other recycled materials. And turn to renewable resources when you can — like using bamboo or recycled fiber carpets to replace traditional flooring. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, businesses pay less than 2 percent extra on average for green building features. With the addition of federal and state government rebates and other financial incentives, the green option starts to look downright attractive.
There are many ways in which design can save money while reducing environmental impact. Cool roofs , for instance, can lessen your energy use and extend the lifetime of your roof, both of which save you money in the long term, according to the Department of Energy. Better yet, the initial cost outlay is not necessarily more than for a non-cool roof.
Other smart design implementations include well-insulated windows. Taking the local climate into account, full-length windows can be positioned either to face the sun or to face away from it, depending on whether you want to encourage or discourage solar gain.