Some people think an energy efficient home design is the same as designing a green home. While energy efficiency is a very important element of green building, a green home designed and built to LEED certification standards offers much more. Explore the differences to find out why you will want to go LEED green when designing and building your new luxury home.
Green Home Design Goes Beyond Energy Efficiency
An energy efficient home design and build utilizes strategies to reduce energy consumption and costs. Going further, green home design also plans for efficient water usage. Emphasis is placed on responsible use of resources and construction materials for cleaner, healthier indoor living and a lower impact on the environment.
Let’s explore the differences.
Energy Efficient Home Design: How to Build an Energy Efficient Home
A good design and build of an energy efficient home takes a comprehensive whole-house system approach that considers how each part effects the efficiency of the other parts and the system as a whole.
For instance, while installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system reduces the energy required to operate it, with a tight building envelope, proper placement of windows and doors, as well as other measures, the system won’t need to work as hard as it would otherwise to maintain the proper temperature, which lowers the energy usage.
An energy efficient home design and build considers:
- Local climate
- Site conditions
- Lighting, including natural lighting
- Building envelope
- Occupant behavior
- Space cooling and heating
- Water heating
- Appliances and home electronics
How to Build a Green Home
While any home can be called green, a truly green home goes beyond the required codes to use natural resources more efficiently and responsibly. It is built to maximize fresh air indoors, minimizing occupant exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants, and lower operating costs, with minimal impact on the environment.
Designing and building a high performance green home takes a whole-house system approach, as described above, with additional measures beyond energy efficiency. For instance,
- Use sustainable products in construction
- Minimize construction waste
- Exceed minimum code requirements for home energy efficiency
- Incorporate measures for efficient indoor and outdoor water usage
- Ensure proper ventilation in the home with high efficiency air filters and other measures to help reduce mold, mildew and other allergens
- Use construction products with low to no harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases and can have long-term health effects
These and many other measures for building a green home typically do not increase the cost of building a home; yet, they help to save homeowners operating costs by reducing utility bills and required home maintenance. The high-performance homes also provide a healthier, more comfortable living environment and higher home valuation.
Leading Energy Efficient, Green Home Designers & Builders
Frankel Building Group, award-winning custom luxury home builders in Houston, became green home builders years ago, before it became popular, because they believed it was the right thing to do. The full-service design-build firm was the first to adopt the LEED for Homes program and build every custom home to its standards.
Leaders in the area’s green home building movement, Frankel has won numerous national and local awards, including the 2016 Best in Green (BIG) Young Professional of the Year (Scott Frankel), 2015 LEED For Homes Outstanding Single-Family Builder, 2015 LEED Homes Power Builder, and five consecutive Houston’s Best PRISM Green Building Single Family Home awards, 2012-2016.
If you want to build a high-performance, healthy luxury home, we invite you to contact the experts at Frankel Building Group. You will be pleased with the process and results.