GREEN HOMES ARE designed and operated to have a minimal environmental impact. They are constructed using green building techniques, which increase the efficiency of the homes and their use of energy, water, and materials, and reduce the homes' impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual removal. The green attributes of green homes generally include, but are not limited to, reduced toxicity, re-usability, reduced waste, energy and water efficiency, high recycled content, intelligent design, responsible manufacturing techniques, and reduction of personal environmental hazards.
The green building techniques needed to construct green homes are sometimes called sustainable building or environmental building. A similar concept is natural building, which focuses on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Green homes may also fall under the classification of sustainable design and green architecture; however, while the initial design of a home is important in making hbba green home, the actual operation, maintenance, and ultimate disposal or deconstruction of the home also have very significant effects on home's overall environmental impact.
There are several advantages to living in a green home. First, through the use of proper materials and attention to natural ventilation, green homes reduce exposure to mold, mildew, and other indoor toxins, and thus have better indoor air quality than standard homes. Homes with high indoor air quality are more comfortable and healthier places to live, particularly for families with young children. Second, because of increased efficiency, green homes reduce operating costs by using less energy and water. Finally, green homes in the aggregate have the potential to radically reduce environmental impacts on the local and global environment by reducing both pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.
Green building is increasingly governed and driven by standards, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED for Homes has been developed, which is a voluntary rating system that promotes the design and construction of green homes. LEED certification recognizes and rewards builders for meeting the highest performance standards, and gives homeowners confidence that their home is durable, healthy, and environmentally friendly.
Fortunately, the net cost of owning a green home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home. This is possible, because although some green design practices cost more than conventional design, many cost less (particularly over the lifecy-cle) and when all practices are aggregated in smart, integrated design, they provide the green benefits without increased costs.
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