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Why Certified Green Homes Use Fewer Resources - Designing Your Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

Designing Your New Green Home Floorplan for Maximum Efficiency

Easy Ways to Make Any Home More Efficient

If you're considering building or buying a new green certified home in the Raleigh area, you'll want to know what, exactly,Raleigh Green Homes | NC Green Home Builders a "certified green home" means!

To make the grade, your new Raleigh green home must be evaluated in six different aspects of construction: Lot Design, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence. 

How Does Resource Efficiency work, when designing your floor plan?

Every home is just a little different, but with a little effort, nearly any home can be certified green built.  A home is certified green when a minimum number of points are earned in each of the six categories.  The "green points" earned by your Raleigh green home builder will vary, depending on the type of site, location, type of home, budget, and your own priorities. 

Here's how resource efficiency can affect the design of your new certified green home.

Size of Home -

The NAHB Research Center national survey has determined average home size, broken down by number of bedrooms.

  • 2 Bedrooms = 1,382 sq ft
  • 3 Bedrooms = 1,890 sq ft
  • 4 Bedrooms = 2,648 sq ft
  • 5+ Bedrooms = 3,424 sq ft

Your new green home will earn points towards green home certification if the total heated square footage is below these averages. 

For example, a 4 bedroom home at 2555 sq ft earns 1 point, while a 2267 sq ft four bedroom home earns 4 points towards green home certification.

Layout of Home:

There are many ways a home can be designed for better efficiency.  Here are some of the methods your builder can use to maximize the use of resources without changing the overall size of the home.

  • One side of a window or door opening is at a regular 16" or 24" stud position.
  • Modular (standard) window sizes are used, with both side studs located at normal 16" or 24" stud positions.
  • The building width is evenly divisible by four feet in the direction parallel to the primary joist span.
  • The building length is evenly divisible by two feet in the direction perpendicular to the primary joist span.

These are just a few of the ways any home can be designed and built in a more efficient manner.

Certified green homes must meet specific guidelines, and must be inspected by third party verifiers.  However, the attributes for each green home will vary, due to site conditions, budget, and level of green certification desired.

There are four basic levels of certification through the NAHB Green Building program: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald.

Buying a Raleigh Green Home?

Ask the seller or builder to provide you with the green home certificate.  This certificate is issued upon completion of the home, and will specify the level of the certification.

Building a Raleigh Green Home?

Discuss your green building priorities with your NC green home builder.  They will help you determine which level of green building certification best meets your budget and desires.  If you opt for a certified green home, you'll receive an official certificate from a third party verifier like the NAHB upon completion of your new Raleigh NC green home.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

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