What to Consider When Building a Green Home

By Lauren Busser, Direct from the Designers™ Editorial Director

Green is a color that never goes out of style when it comes to home building. We don't mean the paint color—being green is all about energy efficiency. Energy-efficient, green building materials are available for almost every aspect of building, designing, and maintaining your new home. Whether you are looking for efficient windows and doors or low-impact interior finishes, everything you’ll need to build a green home is at your fingertips. Here are some things to take into consideration when you start building a greener home.

Energy efficiency starts at your home's front door. Take a look at Therma-Tru’s® Classic Craft® Rustic Collection™ for an energy-efficient design with a bit of Old World charm.

Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Rustic Collection

Evaluate Your Energy Use

Before you begin your search for a green house plan, you need to evaluate your family's energy use. Ask yourself questions like: Do you leave a light or TV on when you go to sleep? Do you generally require air conditioning in the summer? Do you use a lot of electronics?

The amount of energy you use is tied to your in-home habits, so these need to be taken into consideration in order to maximize the benefits of building an energy-efficient home.

HHF-4421 is a one-story house plan with plenty of room for a growing family. It is also ENERGY STAR® approved for the environmentally-conscious home builder.

Direct from the Designers Energy-Efficient House Plan

Find the Perfect House Plan

Once you've assessed your lifestyle and needs, you’ll need to find a house plan that is energy efficient. Our collection of ENERGY STAR® approved house plans features plans of many sizes and styles that are designed with innovative materials and systems that promote efficient, comfortable, and healthy living.

Energy-efficient windows will help your home be green no matter the season. Check out Integrity® from Marvin® Windows and Doors to see their wide selection of gorgeous windows for your new home.

Integrity from Marvin Windows and Doors Wood-Ultrex Casement and Awning Windows

Consult Your Builder

Consulting with your builder is a great way to leverage your home and get the most out of its energy efficiency. Things like a southern exposure and well-placed windows can give you a little advantage when it comes to your home's energy bills.

This is especially important if you are thinking about going solar. Solar systems will work best with a certain orientation, so be sure to consult your builder and any contractors you may use for your systems.

Check out the COACHMAN® Collection from Clopay®. This collection has several insulating options that result in R-values ranging from 6.5 to 18.4.

Clopay Garage Doors Coachman Collection

Seal Your Home's Envelope

It's almost impossible to separate the notions of energy efficiency and airflow in a sustainable home, which is why it pays to be sure that your building envelope is well-insulated and tightly sealed. The key components of a building envelope are the foundation, flooring systems, interior and exterior walls, and the roofing system.

Insulation is a critical element that determines how efficiently your home will operate. It keeps your home warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and prevents air from escaping through your walls, floors, ceilings, foundation, and ductwork to ensure maximum efficiency, comfort, and yearly savings.

Installing an energy-efficient roof is a very important part of building a new home. Take a look at DaVinci Roofscapes' Bellaforté Shake Roofing in their ENERGY STAR® rated EcoBlend colors.

DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforté Shake Roof

Look for ENERGY STAR® Label Products

Elements such as energy-efficient windows, appliances, lighting, HVAC systems, and roofing can make your home exceptionally green. Take a look at the ENERGY STAR® sites to find all sorts of efficient products for your home. If you want to conserve water as well, take a look at the EPA's WaterSense® program for products like toilets, faucets, and shower heads.

The best thing about building a green home today is that you don't need to trade style for efficiency. Many companies have embraced sustainability and are pushing technological and design envelopes to create eco-friendly products that, while being beautiful, significantly outperform traditional home building products.

Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online