10 Green Home Design Ideas

10 Green Home Design Ideas

13Eco-design isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for your wallet. Green home design uses renewable resources that conserve water and energy, don’t harm the environment and ultimately end up saving you money. The following green home design ideas reduce your carbon footprint, while increasing your home’s value and the size of your bank account.

Use eco-friendly doors and windows

While a front door with a window adds light to an entryway, it also allows warmth and insulation to escape. Opt for a front door without windows and make sure it is made of eco-friendly wood, a recyclable material that is more energy-efficient than other materials.

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Home of The Year

Home of The Year

12When it comes to artwork, Zolina Cook enjoys portraiture.

The first floor of her home on the North Side features several pieces depicting faces. Occasionally, a new face in the window joins them, as passersby can’t resist peeking in the room’s tall windows. Cook can’t blame them. Everything about the modular home on Reddour Street is intriguing, from its angular exterior to its energy-efficient inner workings.
“It’s just a stunning house,” says Cook, a freelance financial consultant. “It’s just striking, and it fits the street so well. You notice the house, but it doesn’t look out of place.”

The home Cook has shared with husband Jason Jevack, a performance support manager for NiSource, daughter Ziola, 10, and son Zieben, 8, since last summer earned a Judges’ Distinction/Green Award from the panel of judges who selected Pittsburgh Magazine’s Homes of the Year 2016.

“It’s highly efficient with a functional plan and simple construction, yet it’s technologically advanced in terms of the approach to climate and energy,” says judge Jack

Alan Bialosky Jr., senior principal of Cleveland-based Bialosky + Partners Architects. “It feels spacious and airy in spite of the fact that it’s compact. It really takes the idea of modular construction and explodes it in a way that makes it very affordable and aesthetically pleasing.”

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Will Green Improvements Boost your Home’s Value?

Will Green Improvements Boost your Home’s Value?

11Shopping for a single-family home, Elahna Paul and her husband, Hal LaCroix, compiled a pretty typical wish list: high ceilings, hardwood floors, good closet space, and a big backyard. Four years into their search, they toured a 110-year-old Victorian in Somerville’s Spring Hill section and liked what they saw. Not only did the home check many of the items on their list, it also had all new dual-pane windows. “That was a plus,” says Paul. “It meant the energy costs would be lower.” The couple bought the house in August 2011.

Paul and LaCroix are environmentally conscious, but they would be the first to tell you their energy-efficient windows didn’t close the deal. They paid for the whole package, not one feature. Same when they installed solar panels in 2014 — they wondered what the panels would do to their home’s value but took the plunge without being able to settle that question. And that makes the pair pretty typical for the Greater Boston housing market.

“Buying and selling green homes is in its infancy around here,” says Somerville-based agent Thalia Tringo, “but we’re moving to a more educated public.” Similarly, real estate agents, sellers, and appraisers are learning more about the wide variety of green-home features now available, trying to determine how they can affect a property’s value. Since green renovations don’t translate into dollars and cents as easily as traditional renovations, it can be tough to calculate the value they add — or perhaps subtract — when it comes time to sell.

A few years ago, real estate broker Craig Foley, chief of energy solutions at RE/Max Leading Edge, wondered whether “buyers were speaking with their wallets when it came to lower energy costs for homes.” He studied about 4,600 homes in Greater Boston, measuring whether buyers preferred natural-gas heating to oil, which tends to be more expensive. It turned out that natural-gas homes commanded $11 more per square foot — that adds up to a $22,000 premium on a 2,000-square-foot house. “Those numbers,” says Foley, “reinforced a number of studies nationally that said for every $1 of annual energy savings, it equates to $15 to $20 at the time of sale.”

Foley believes those figures speak to buyers’ general desire for lower home operating costs. And that desire, he noted, increased after last winter’s frigid temperatures left many owners with sky-high energy bills. Still, when greening up your home, it’s hard to know where to put money down.

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How to Make Green Home Improvements to Your Home

How to Make Green Home Improvements to Your Home

10We all seem to gravitate toward green home projects. Over the years I’ve completed my fair share of home improvement projects, doing all the work myself; however, like many aging baby-boomers, I’m getting a little bit too old and, in my particular case, too cranky, to keep it up. So, I now hire contractors to do the work.

An important consideration to me — which has evolved into a huge movement in the United States — is to try to incorporate environmentally friendly products and green ideas into my home improvement projects. I see no sense in adding to the pollution already abundant in the world when there are affordable green solutions to traditional building practices.

I’d like to share with you a few ideas about how you can make green home improvements, without breaking the bank. Best of all, your green projects will promote healthy living for your family and our planet.

Green Home Improvements: Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are either gas or electric and can be installed inside or outside of your home.

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Science Says a Green Home can Improve Your Health

Science Says a Green Home can Improve Your Health

David Pollock of Perdue's Heritage Farms with a male roaster at the facility near Princess Ann, MD.

With the rise of the human civilization and society came urbanization. The process of urbanization continues today and more and more people will move to the cities as new ones emerge. The United Nations revealed that approximately 50 percent of the global population lives in cities, and this is according to the information from the now distant year of 2007.

According to some speculation, by the year 2030 the number of people living in cities will rise to 60 percent. Unfortunately this process of urbanization is harmful on more than one level, and it has a negative impact on the current ecosystem. So far, 8 percent of vertebrate species have been marked as “endangered”, and the distance between cities and protected areas has been reduced, which further increases pressure on natural resources.

These are some of the negative effects of this rapid urbanization, but there are a lot of ways in which we can preserve our planet by switching to cleaner sources of energy. Unfortunately due to the delicate nature of status quo, people who profit from oil, and the current economy in general, this global switch to a green lifestyle won’t happen any time soon.

Of course, if you want to go green there’s no one really stopping you, and it will both benefit your health and your budget. So, let us examine how you can develop your green home, and why you should do it.

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