About a year ago I wrote a post regarding the difference between Green and High Performance homes. With the attention on Green Building continuing to rise, I decided that this would be a good topic to focus on again. Why?
Well, as people find out that Green Building is consumer driven and not going away, some of the information that I hear is somewhat alarming. It’s almost like the information and ‘requirements’ get diluted for what can be considered a Green Home. The truth is that not all homes built to be High Quality, Durable and Energy Efficient are meant to be Green.
For example a home may be built incredibly energy efficient with spray foam, unbelievably efficient HVAC system, and anything else you could think of to lower the utility bills- But then the inside has high VOC carpeting, high VOC paints and sealers, kitchen cabinets with a bunch of formaldehyde in them, etc. On top of that, let’s say that there were no low flow water fixtures added to the home and the lot was not maintained to prevent erosion, etc. while the home was being built..
This home probably should NOT be considered GREEN.
This is where the term High Performance Home comes in to play. The overall performance of this home through Energy and Maintenance will do well, but the Indoor Air Quality may be poor, the Site Management was not there and it likely is not water efficient-All 3 of those being Major in Green Building.
For accountability reasons, a home built like this should likely not be marketed nor portrayed as being Green either. Personally, I think it is misleading as would others looking for all components of Green.
There is nothing wrong with High Performance homes- As a matter of fact there are probably a lot of people that would rather have the Energy Performance issues taken care of in a home and not the other GREEN items. It is just really important that we not continue to Dilute the term Green and learn to separate the components.
If you have a home on the market and are hard time selling a GREEN home being marketed as such and it is missing major GREEN components-it is likely that if you market it High performing it would make a big difference. Homebuyers looking for one or the other probably know the difference.
This is all another reason why 3rd Party Verifications and Green Building Programs that offer Certifications are so important right now. These show potential homeowners what exactly they are getting and reassure them that the product is not Greenwashed. There are a handful of Green Building Programs being used in Houston to keep an eye out for so I will write about those in another post. In the mean time, don’t get greenwashed and ask ‘What makes this home GREEN?‘ if you are in the market to buy.