What Constitutes a Green Home?

  • September 17th 2009

by Michael Kiefer

What Constitutes a Green Home?: Figure 1

The word “green” is being used these days to describe just about anything on the home market, which begs the question: What exactly is a green home?

This question comes up more often than not with developers and realtors as they use the term to describe either entire projects or perhaps just features of a renovated home. A green home is essentially a high-performing property that looks to surpass any of the current building code requirements through superior insulation, weatherization and HVAC efficiency. So in the case of our urban environment, if you are looking for what makes one home greener than another, the answer usually lies in which property has the better insulation and air barrier strategies.

So, where can one head when trying to determine how green their prospective home is if it doesn’t have a certification from LEED or Energy Star associated with it? As a consumer, you need to be proactive in addressing questions about the property’s utility bills, look closely at how the home is insulated and let your realtor and home inspector know from the start that these items are very important for you as part of your home purchase.

The green review strategies that you will employ will differ depending on if you are looking at single-family homes or condos in multi-unit buildings. With condos, buyers should focus on the unit appliances and windows and inquire about scheduled capital improvements to the building. With single-family homes, the proof of how green the property is comes with an energy audit as this will provide an accurate energy-efficiency rating. (This test can usually be used only on certain homes.) A number of home inspectors are now combining audits with their inspections in an effort to expand their services.

In short, in our urban marketplace, a green home is that which is exceptionally well insulated, weatherized and energy efficient that provides you with lasting financial comfort for years to come.

See other articles related to: condo buying, green real estate

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/what_constitutes_a_green_home/1321.

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