Why Should I Build a “Green” Home?

Imagine this. The year is 168,000 BC. You’ve just returned from a successful deer hunt. You’re sitting around the fire with a handful of berries trying to stay warm. The nights are getting cooler again for some odd reason. You see your crazy neighbour Gorg rubbing a rock back and forth on an old deer carcass. You laugh at him not enjoying the fire time, while adding another log to the fire. Man that smoke sure is aggravating in your eyes.

 [GETTY: POSED BY MODELS]
No infringement intended

Days go by, you continue heading out in the morning, hunting, gathering, foraging, and just generally surviving. Crazy Gorg has now finished rubbing his rock and deer hide together. What a nut, he’s now actually wearing the deer hide. You notice he’s spending less time cutting trees, wiping smoke from his eyes, and seems to be generally more comfortable. Could it be that a hide cover is right for you?

I realize all analogies break down at some point. But there’s a point to my prehistoric ancestral story. The technology of eco-friendly and sustainable building is growing, rapidly. A majority of home owners simply aren’t aware what they sacrifice when building a code built home. They aren’t aware of the comfort savings available to them.

On a day like today, I’m especially aware of comfort savings. In our 50 year old house we have drafts by our front and back doors, and through a couple outlets. The cold and wind pressures really want to get in. Standing by the dual pane front window almost necessitates putting a sweater on today.

Here’s a couple reasons you should consider building an environmentally friendly home.

  1. As hinted to above, the comfort level is unmatched. By incorporating better air sealing, better insulation details, less thermal transfer areas, and better materials you’ll wind up having a much more comfortable home. Your basement temperature will match your upstairs temperature, you’ll be able to sit by your large windows without a blanket. You’ll get the opportunity to control humidity much easier, and not worry about dry lips all winter. If you are like me and already own a home, consider checking out Manitoba Hydro’s recommendations for air sealing and insulating existing houses.
  2. Cost savings! People often ask us how much more it costs to build an eco-friendly home. The answer of course, is much less. Sure, we’ll cost a bit more up front, but when you consider reduced maintenance on simpler systems, reduced energy bills due to insulation and air details you’ll wind up far ahead over the course of your home ownership. Details like exterior perforated insulation in conjunction with a properly sized mechanical system can be paid off within 5 years!
  3. Health. This reason is often overlooked. But if you have the choice between breathing healthier air with lower VOC’s and mold, why wouldn’t you take it? By insulating better, and making better air/vapour barriers we’re keeping mold and rot from gaining a foothold in your home! A healthier home leads to a healthier life!
  4. Reducing our carbon footprint. While the public discourse can seem alienating and complex, the science seems to be pretty clear that being better citizens on our planet means treating her better. We need to use less resources especially considering the trajectory of our population growth!

We realize this is a very abbreviated list. There are many reasons both tangible and intangible. But we’d love to chat with you more about sustainability, energy efficiency, or any other question you have regarding new home construction! Visit us online at http://www.dueckbuilders.com to start the conversation!

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