To hear Natale Builders owner Angelo Natale talk in detail about getting into the business of building the first Green home in the Buffalo, NY area, check out the WNY Entrepreneur podcast interview “Building a Business From the Inside Out” hosted by David Shaub on Spotify!
Nowadays, the benefits of green building are impossible to ignore. Not only does green building protect the ecosystem, but it also saves water and cuts down your energy and maintenance bills. Buildings account for 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of landfill waste, and 39% of total energy use, so building greener homes has a significant impact on the fight against climate change.
Building a green home can also improve your quality of life. Eco-friendly homes tend to have better indoor air quality, thanks to better insulation and more regulated heating and cooling systems. Green buildings’ better air quality can even reduce the effects of asthma and respiratory allergies.
Moreover, many green building materials are free from the harmful chemical treatments their traditional counterparts receive. This keeps you and your family healthier (not to mention these green materials are more durable and require less upkeep).
Green buildings are even reported to reduce the risk of depression, decrease stress, and increase productivity. Employees who work in green buildings are less likely to miss a day of work, so in the age of working from home, a green home is an important asset!
Some of the advantages of green building may not be obvious at first but will lead to significant savings (of both money and resources) in the long run. For instance, Energy Star compliant dishwashers and washing machines use up to 40% less water than their traditional counterparts.
Well-insulated homes are also more energy-efficient, so building a green home will cut down your energy bill in the long run. Savings from a more eco-friendly water heating system (e.g., a heat trap, a better-insulated heater, or an on-demand heating system) also add up over time.
Another benefit of green building is durability. Since green home construction is more sustainable, you’ll save on maintenance and upkeep costs, and your home will stay in great shape for years to come.
Eco-Friendly Heating Methods
There are many eco-friendly heating methods to consider, including geothermal heating, solar heating, and fireplace heating. Considered the greenest heating method, geothermal heating involves a well dug to harness the Earth's heat via the watertable. A coil or loop system is installed in the ground and the water is directed to a furnace that circulates the air (much like a traditional HVAC system). These pipes absorb heat directly from the ground, then pump the now-hot water around your home.
Although the upfront cost is steep, geothermal heating can cut your monthly utility bill by up to 65%.
Solar heating involves solar panels, which conserve energy from the Sun for as long as possible and use it to heat your home. Combining solar power with geothermal heating creates a zero net waste system that has the potential to significantly reduce or even eliminate your energy bill.
Finally, good old-fashioned fireplace heating is the cheapest green heating method. Whether your fireplace is fueled by wood or natural gas, it’s automatically more sustainable than traditional modern heating systems. However, it’s best not to choose this option in areas at high risk for pollution, as traditional chimneys do release some CO2 into the air. Your best bet is to burn sustainably harvested wood in an EPA-certified stove.
Insulation and Green Building
Building a well-insulated, air-sealed home allows for less heat loss and therefore conserves energy. Not only is this beneficial for the environment, but it also keeps your home more comfortable and your heating and cooling bills low.
Air infiltration is responsible for 25 to 40 percent of the energy used to heat and cool a typical home. A better-insulated green home means less risk for air leaks, better air quality, and reduced risk of moisture intrusion. Moisture intrusion could create mold or bacterial growth that presents a hazard to both your family’s health and your home’s structural integrity.
Build Your Custom Green Home with Natale Builders
Natale Builders is recognized as one of the country’s leading green builders, having received an award from the National Association of Home Builders in 2014. Well-insulated homes are our priority, since they keep your home’s climate comfortable and help you save on energy bills in the long run. Some Natale homes also feature geothermal heating systems, solar panels, and more.
The only disadvantages of green building lie in initial investment of money, time, and effort sourcing materials. And the benefits of this effort upfront will pay off for years to come. Perks of green building abound–you’ll save on energy, heating and cooling, and maintenance bills in the long run, and your home’s materials will be durable and sustainable.
Moreover, a greener home means a healthier environment for you and your family in terms of air quality, temperature regulation, and building materials. All these advantages considered, choosing a home from a green builder like Natale is a no-brainer.