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Choice Custom Homes
September 16, 2014

Buying a Home With Green Features

In the process of buying a custom built home, you have the unique opportunity to incorporate green features, some of which you just can’t do when buying an existing home. Passive solar, landscaping, low-toxicity products, green HVAC systems—these are a few green features you should investigate with your Omaha custom home builder.

Passive Solar

A high-return project for building plans still in the design phase, passive solar is a tried-and-true way to naturally heat and cool a home. In essence, a passive solar home design uses innovative materials in strategically placed walls, windows and floors that purposefully collect solar energy, store it, and release it at just the right times.

A passive solar home will collect heat in the winter, and reject it in the summer months. In Omaha, passive solar can be used in conjunction with mechanical heating and cooling systems, while reducing reliance upon them and enhancing the home’s energy efficiency.

Landscaping

The greenery around your new home not only enhances its beauty, but it can bring a functionality to your home’s efficiency, too. In the cool Nebraska climate, strategic windbreaks reduce heating costs, redirecting strong, cold winds that would otherwise lower the temperatures around your home.

Using trees and shrubs near the home to block the intense summer sun helps to keep the area surrounding the home cooler. You’ll want to avoid planting anything on the south side of the home that would block the sun’s heat during winter. At this time, the winter sun can help warm the home.

Low-Toxicity Products

When you’re choosing the design of your home, opt for low-toxicity products where you can. Request that your builder employ non-toxic sealants and adhesives for flooring and finishing surfaces, primer and paint for walls, rugs and carpeting. You can also opt to use sustainable materials for countertops and roofs, or choose reclaimed wood or other reusable items.

HVAC

The standard air conditioner and furnace are no longer the standard. Today, homeowners can choose from more efficient options like air-source heat pumps; however, the most efficient systems are solar and geothermal.

With solar, you can start small, using solar panels to power up just the HVAC equipment. Later, you can add more panels to provide electricity to the entire home. Geothermal is ideal for new construction, because the system requires digging underground to install the loops that exchange heat with the ground.

Green features promote the conservation of natural resources, and they’re sustainable solutions for many homeowners. In addition, they often help you save on energy costs, creating an energy-efficient home that uses less natural resources. Choice Custom Homes is happy to walk you through the many innovative green features available in custom and semi-custom home plans. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.

Nicole

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