Building green can save greenbacks
Thanks to greater eco-awareness, rebates for
environmentally friendly homes and homeowners'
desires to slash their skyrocketing energy
costs, building green is looking more golden
than ever to architects and developers.
If you're thinking of starting
from scratch on a home of your own, you can
go green for cheaper than you think, says
Paul Novak, environmental products specialist
at Green Depot. "Depending on how green
you want to get, it will cost about 5 (percent)
to 10 percent more than a traditional house,"
he says. "But you'll definitely get a
payback on that investment -- not just on
cost, but in your health, too."
|Paper makes up roughly 39 pounds of every 100 pounds of trash in the U.S.
Matt Golden, CEO of San Francisco-based Sustainable
Spaces, adds that not only is it cheaper than
people realize to make homes eco-friendly,
building new offers many options unavailable
to remodeled homes.
"When you're talking about
new construction, it's a great opportunity
to have an impact early on -- rather than
trying to fix a broken system." He adds
that for those who can't upgrade on every
green item, addressing the low-hanging fruit
will make a difference. "You can have
a dramatic impact on most houses for $5,000
to $8,000," he says.
Going green can mean many things.
Common considerations include reducing energy
use, avoiding toxic chemicals, using products
that have a long life cycle and ensuring that
products are produced with environmental concerns
in mind. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind
as your own home takes shape.