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One of the goals of many contemporary homeowners is to tread lightly upon the environment when remodeling or building a home. The term “green home” has recently come into common usage in reference to these objectives. While the definition of a “green home” varies, both pre-owned and new homes can include options that will lessen any negative impact upon the environment.
This trend in building and remodeling has grown significantly over the past ten years, and is becoming more visible in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We have included in this section some homes presenting the ecologically friendly options you may be searching for.
Some of the features you may find in these “green homes” are:
- Planning the placement of the home on the site to take advantage of the sun’s heat and light, or to reduce exposure to cold, i.e., windows on the south walls in climates where winters are cold; windows on two walls in a room to create more interior light; and use of skylights to reduce the need for electrical light.
- Using solar panels to reduce dependence upon the electrical grid and the cost of electricity
- Using natural products such as native stone; wood from sustainably harvested trees; such as FSC-certified wood; adobe; recycled bricks; and some manufactured products such as Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs).
- Wherever possible, using locally produced products to save on shipping costs and use of energy for shipping
- Using low-flow toilets, aerators, low-flow showerheads, and other water-saving and/or water-recycling systems
- Using low-VOC products that improve indoor air quality by not emitting “volatile organic compounds” such as paint labeled as low-VOC
- Using rapidly renewable flooring materials such as bamboo, cork and eucalyptus flooring products rather than traditional hardwoods
- Installing Energy-Star™ qualified appliances, which take into account not only the initial price, but the long-term savings achieved by energy efficiency
- Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which can reduce energy usage up to 40% over conventional light bulbs
- Planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers, especially low-water usage plantings, to shade and beautify the home