“Green” has definitely become a buzz work lately. You see it promoted on TV shows, on the news, in advertisements, and even at the grocery store. All the hype over going “green” and green building has cause much debate, fueled skepticism. Is it practical? Is it affordable? Is it a fad? What does it mean? And finally, does green building really make a difference for individuals, communities and the world?
When it comes to building new homes or remodling custom homes in New Mexico, there are several easy principles you can use to guide you through the maze of Green Building and Sustainable Living. These principles can help you make common sense decisions about what green choices you should make in your existing or new home in new mexico.
The first principle in unpacking green building is to Start Simple. One of the common myths about going green is that it’s expensive and complicated. Solar technology is exciting. It has the potential to make a huge impact on the environment, but it’s certainly not the only thing you can do. The answer is definitely NOT “do nothing”, just because you don’t have the time, money or technology in your home to go solar!
The key is to spend a little bit of time getting educated. Today there are many resources that can give you easy, inexpensive steps to make your home green. Three to four years ago I was very skeptical about the “green movement”. With all the research that is available today, I’m convinced that green building and sustainable homes have benefits for every homeowner.
The second principle in building green is to find green building alternatives that Reduce Your Impact on the Environment. Green Build technology reduces the need to burn fossil fuels and helps fight climate change, one of society’s most pressing environmental issues. In your existing home, something as simple as switching to fluorescent light bulbs or selecting Energy Star appliances can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you use.
Owners of New Mexico real estate know that water is one of our most precious natural resources. Xeriscape landscaping and using native plants is often less expensive and it preserves water resources. As an added bonus this type of landscaping reduce maintenance and builds long-term value in your home.
The third principle you should use is to select green features that Saving You Money. A green home in New Mexico costs less to operate because it use less energy, less water, and requires less maintenance. When building a green home, the extra cost of green design is minimal compared to the energy and tax savings you will receive over the life of your home. Also, high-performance, green homes have a much higher resale value.
If you’re building a new home, upgrading your insulation and selecting high-efficiency heating and cooling systems can significantly reduce the amount of energy you use. That means you’re significantly reducing your impact on the environment, while only spending a little bit more money.
The four principle in for going green is to make changes that will Improve your Health. Did you know that green building technology can actually make your house a safer, healthier place to live?
For generations Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and other harmful substances have been used in the construction of our homes. Today, green building technology has provided healthy alternative to these harmful toxins.
There are many options you can choose to make your existing home or your new home a healthier place. These options include selecting VOC Free or Low VOC paint, using formaldehyde free adhesives, installing a whole house exhaust fan or air filtration system, installing a water filtration system, and more.
Studies show green homes have better indoor air quality because of reduced exposure to chemicals, mold and other harmful substances. Use Green Build techniques and breath easier knowing you’ve made your home a healthier place to live!
Hopefully these four simple principles will help you in untangling the mystery that is green building. For more information on easy ways to go green visit these great web sites: Build Green New Mexico, Energy Star, El Paso Electric, and Green Builder Magazine.
There are many other benefits to building green. What benefits have you seen in your home or development? Please post your comments!
Picacho Mountain is Southern New Mexico’s only certified Build Green community, with estate homes, patio homes, town homes and a neighborhood retail area.