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Being ‘green certified’ a key for developers

In addition to conserving resources and helping the environment, builders are finding it more practical and financially rewarding to have their homes “green” certified.

That means the builder gets recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for meeting certain criteria in eco-friendly building materials and paints, and standards in home safety and efficiency regarding cleaner air and water usage.

With more buyers seeking “green” homes, or at least more “green” elements within a home, the builders are finding those types of homes easier to sell or lease.

For the consumer, what exactly does a “green” home mean?

It can mean a lot of different things, depending on the type of home and the builder, as some go above and beyond to higher levels of LEED certification.

The trends are for builders to use sustainable woods, recycled products, reclaimed products, and paints and glues that do not emit toxins.

Bamboo floorings are a more current trend in sustainable products, and it is clear that green roofs and green walls on or within a home are becoming more popular.

Many builders seek vendors that have green policies, such as a carpet-recycling program or renewable wood flooring such as lyptus wood or, again, the bamboo product. Another trend is to use low-maintenance, recycled wood substrate siding, or work with roof and wall sheeting made from renewable sources to eliminate the impact on forests.

All green builders use low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, which decreases toxic emission into the air. They also use sprayed on insulation that prevents moisture, thus blocking potential mold growth.

A green-certified home has fundamental features as well, such as caulking, but they do these tasks thoroughly in addition to proper venting and foam-sealing of windows. Extra insulation in attics and garage doors is also becoming more common as ways to conserve energy during extreme summer or winter seasons.

It’s becoming a fairly basic formula for builders and home buyers: Green buildings use less energy, water and natural resources, while creating less waste. At the same time, they are proving to be more comfortable and healthier for the occupants.


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