Sustainable Home Builders and Development
Sustainable home building isn't just something that is reserved for people who consider themselves to be "eco-friendly" individuals. As time goes on, more and more people are starting to see the practical advantages of sustainable building beyond the ethical benefits. Sustainable development practices promote a long-term savings scheme in home building that ends up saving homeowners quite a lot of money in the long run. This is due to the lower overall costs of maintaining sustainably-built structures and the potential tax benefits of building sustainably. After everything is considered, it's easy to see why so many people are choosing to keep sustainability in mind when planning their next building project.
What is Sustainable Building?
Sustainable building is a standard used to determine whether a building project takes long-term resource availability into consideration. For example, building projects that utilize wood from forests managed under strict guidelines may be considered sustainable. The idea is that when something is built, it is not going to permanently remove an important resource from the hands of future generations. At the very least, it shouldn't be damaging that resource to the point where it is difficult for future generations to use.
Sustainable building projects don't only have to consider the materials they use when a project is being completed. They also have to look at the long-term impact that the home itself can have on the natural world through overuse of energy resources. For example, a home that is built with poor insulation may not be considered to be a sustainable development. This is because the home will end up using more energy for heating and cooling than would be necessary if proper insulation was installed. This is why you will often see sustainable developers touting their knowledge of insulation as a sales point.
Common Sustainable Building Practices
The most common sustainable building practices have to do with the use of energy by the home during the most extreme months of the year. The most "extreme" months of the year are generally regarded as the coldest and the hottest months of the year. This is because homeowners are more likely to use their HVAC units during these months than in any other month. This also means that homeowners are likely to spend the most money on energy during these months. A sustainably-insulated home will take major steps toward defraying the amount of energy used to keep a home comfortable throughout these "extreme" months of the year.
Another sustainable practice is to utilize building materials that are developed, harvested and processed in a sustainable way. For example, there are many home builders who use wood that is sourced from foreign forests that are not strictly managed. The wood from these forests can often be sourced from old-growth forests. This is a very damaging practice that can cause a lot of long-term damage on local communities and the local environment. Part of developing in a sustainable way means that you have to source your building materials from vendors that take sustainability seriously.
Tips on Building Sustainably
The first thing you should do when you want to take on a sustainable building project is visit the websites of sustainable trade organizations like the Sierra Green Building Association and others. These sites will be a great resource when you're deciding on what to look for in a contractor. Different states will have different laws on the basic qualifications a contractor needs to operate lawfully in a specific jurisdiction. However, green building practices are fairly universal. Taking advantage of the information available on these sites can help you find a perfect contractor right away.
Focusing on energy use is a good way to focus your research on sustainable development issues. It's important to use sustainably-sourced building materials, but nothing has a bigger impact on the long-term sustainability of your home than the amount of energy you use. Since most energy used in any home is generally going toward heating and cooling, you should further focus your research on efficient HVAC units. Taking advantage of natural light by strategically placing skylights and windows is also one of the easier sustainable home building practices to hold to.
Sustainable Building is Smart
Sustainable home building development is one of those few things in life that has more positive than negative connotations. When implemented correctly, sustainable home building practices can save homeowners lots of money in the long run. While there is a definite emotional benefit that comes from developing in a sustainable way, this is not the only reason to encourage sustainable development. Sustainable development practices are also a great way to use less energy and resources, which ends up saving you money.