“Green” means many things to many people. For some it conjures up images of a living in a better world, while others might just see dollar signs. For us, green means:
The list goes on, but most important, green building is collaborating to define what it means for you and how to best use these concepts to meet your projects goals and budget.
Not breaking the bank.
When it comes to cost, we have found that most people think of green building as a luxury. This just isn’t always the case. Don’t get us wrong, there are options in green building that cost a pretty penny or require a substantial upfront investment, such as solar panels. But indulge us for a moment and think of green building principals as pieces of fruit on a tree. Carlisle Classic Homes approaches green building in the following ways:
First, we gather the “low hanging fruit”, or construction items that don’t cost any more than the non-healthy or unsustainable option, but pay immediate dividends. These include formaldehyde-free insulation, low-VOC paint, and proper detailing and execution of the weather envelope to minimize water intrusion and provide better indoor air quality.
Second, we look to the fruit that we have to stretch to get. These items tend to have a higher upfront cost but short paybacks on their investment, or are an investment in sustainability. These include upgraded insulation packages, high efficiency heating/cooling, and paying a small premium for FSC-certified wood.
The third and last area we look to is the fruit at the top of tree. These are items typically only worth doing if you have eaten all the lower hanging fruit. These items have higher price tags and longer payback cycles or are the last steps you can take to fully offset your footprint on this earth. They include solar panels, solar water heaters and geothermal heat pumps.
Don’t be overwhelmed! Green building practices have been going on since the beginning of building. The more you learn about them and include them in your projects, the more you will feel you have put down roots within your home.