New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

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.

Tags: nc green building, certified green home builders, green builders raleigh, green home builders raleigh, green homes, green homes raleigh, certified green homes

How Green Homes Get Cleaner Indoor Air | Green Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Indoor Air Quality - Green Home Builder Tips

Cleaner Indoor Air is Part of a Green Home

Why should a certified green home address indoor air quality?  Indoor air quality is very important.

On average, people in our nation spend about 90% of their time indoors, with the majority of that time spent in the home. 

In addition, the EPA estimates that almost 20 million people in America suffer from asthma, and require better indoor air quality to help ease their symptoms.

Here's how building a green home can help.

There are six different "systems" that a green home builder must incorporate in a Raleigh new green home.  The green home builder must address Lot Design, Resources, Energy, Water, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Operation/Maintanence in order for a Raleigh green home to be certified.

Today we'll discuss some of the ways a green home can address indoor air quality.

Green Building - Indoor Air Quality

There are four different "levels" of green home certification.  For each level, the green home builder must incorporate an increasing number of indoor air quality factors. 

The features included in the green home will vary based on the floor plan, desires of the homebuyer, and budget.

Indoor Air Quality Common Features:

NC Green Home Builders | Raleigh Green HomesNot all of these features will be found in every Raleigh green home.   Your green home builder will work with you to select the indoor air quality features that work best for you.

- Natural Gas Fireplace with permanently fixed glass doors.

- Wood burning fireplace equipped with gasket doors and able to be operated while doors are closed.

- Door between garage and living space tightly sealed and gasketed.

- Detached garage or carport selected instead of attached garage.

- Wood products chosen with no added urea-formaldehyde.

- "Green Label" carpeting installed.

- Low or no VOC paints selected

- Low or no VOC floor finishes selected.

- Cabinets constructed to KCMA standards.

- Insulation chosen with low formaldehyde emissions.

- Carbon monoxide alarms installed.

- Kitchen exhaust fans are vented to outdoors.

- Bathroom exhaust fans installed with an automatic timer.

- HVAC supply registers covered/vacuumed before occupancy.

- Crawlspace is sealed/conditioned.

A Bronze Level green certified home (NGBS) must earn at least 36 points in the indoor air quality category, and a Silver Level green certified home must earn at least 65 points in the indoor air quality category.  Points will vary.

For example, one of our most recent certified green home projects under way has earned 70 points in the indoor air quality category, through application of a variety of different air quality control measures.

Raleigh Green Homes Offer Cleaner Indoor Air

Why should you consider a green home in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area?

   - Lower energy bills.
   - Less carbon footprint.
   - Healthier indoor air.
   - Reduced warranty claims.
   - Improved durability and lower maintenance.
   - Better resale value.

A “certified green home” is independently verified across seven categories, to ensure all standards are met for increased efficiency, better health, and reduced negative environmental impact.

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.

Tags: nc green building, green homes