It occurred to me while I was watching the trees sway back and forth during Hurricane Ike that the most common attribute of Green Building is the one that gets the absolute Least amount of publicity. It is the QUALITY of Construction and how the home performs structurally.
What made me think about this? Well, that would be the sobering thought of all the trees that would likely be in people’s homes by the end of the night, the water damage or mold that is brought out by the storm, roofing and siding that may not be there in the morning, etc.
But what makes that Green? Driving down the streets in any community right now in Houston and surrounding areas there are heaps of Carpeting, Sheetrock, Tree Debris, Roof Shingles, you name it. All of that ends up in the landfill. It fills up our limited space to ‘dump’ and then promotes the off gassing methane as most dumps do.
One of the most important parts of Green Building is using products that last a long time with low maintenance required to help prevent this from happening and protect the homeowner and your investment.
So this brings up the idea that right now is the PERFECT time to make GREEN upgrades to your home. Item by Item I will post about some of these, but for now here are some things that will help your home stand up to Hurricanes in the future.
- If you are rebuilding completely in the Coastal Areas, consider using Insulated Concrete Forms. Not only do they sustain over 200 mph winds, they are energy efficient like you wouldn’t believe. The rumor of a 2/3 discount on Wind Coverage because of it is a bonus too.
- Windows- Double Pane, Low E- we are getting used to hearing those terms. For a little more you can upgrade to a stronger window that will not only help with winds, but baseballs if you have kids.
- Weather Stripping around doors and windows- This helps your home to be energy efficient as well by keeping air from going in and out but it also helps to keep out water when the yard is not draining well.
- Products that do not promote mold- Consider using products in your home that don’t soak up water. Maybe an alternative to sheetrock?
- Roofing- Composition Shingles are common but there are other options that not only have an insulated value but stand up to mother nature, not to mention that they last longer in this hot and humid climate.
- Carpet- Get rid of it. Use a flooring that promotes healthier indoor air quality and is easier to get water off/out of. Don’t forget to buy local.
- Permeable areas outdoors- Decking and Concrete can look nice outside, but it prevents water from draining well. Try some permeable pavement or some of those cool new pavers that not only look neat but help get the water in the ground quicker.
- How about Solar? Being without power for 8 days has seriously made me consider it.
- Fencing- I have no idea. But if anyone has another option, please share.
As mentioned, I will be posting about all of these and what other GREEN options there are. If you need to know now, shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help you out and lead you in the right direction.
If I left anything out and you have an idea of something that can help out, let us know. If you are doing extensive remodeling or rebuilding you may also want to consider the ASID and USGBC ReGreen Guidelines. Information on that is coming soon also.