The Benefits of a Green Built Texas Home
Green Built Texas homes incorporate efficient site management and waste reduction practices on the jobsite aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the home while under construction. These practices and principles include tree preservation and protection, recycling measures and storm water control systems designed for the site.
Preserving water resources is important to all Texans, and Green Built Texas homes are designed to conserve water both indoors and out. More efficient water delivery systems indoors combined with drought-tolerant landscaping choices and smart irrigation systems outdoors help extend current water resources. Buyers should discuss other GBT offerings with their builder such as rainwater catchment and additional water saving appliances to maximize water savings.
Indoor Air Quality
Following energy efficiency, consumers often cite the home’s indoor air quality as the most important feature of their home. Sensitivities to chemicals that can be emitted from construction and home furnishing materials are becoming more common and Green Built Texas homes aim to mitigate the effects of potential contaminants. Through proper design, ventilation and filtering the source of contaminates can be controlled, diluted and/or captured. This aspect is particularly important in Texas where high levels of allergens and pollen are often reported.
Energy consumption is of paramount concern to today’s homebuyers due to financial and far-reaching environmental impacts. In addition, each home consumes energy year after year, meaning that the environmental impacts associated with that use accrue over time. Therefore, energy conservation is an integral part of all Green Built Texas homes.
Green Built Texas homes are certified to meet the EPA’s ENERGY STAR performance standard. With the help of independent Home Energy Raters, Green Built Texas builders choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes in order to obtain ENERGY STAR certification. Raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify the energy efficiency measures, as well as insulation and air tightness. Upon completion of the verification process, the home obtains ENERGY STAR certification and is scored on the HERS (Home Energy Rating Systems) Index.
The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) in which a home built to basic code specifications scores a HERS Index of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the Reference Home. Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index roughly corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the Reference Home.
Green Built Texas homes start with the consideration of the environment at the design phase, when material selection occurs. For instance, Green Built Texas homes use engineered lumber products, which help optimize lumber resources since 50% or more of the log is converted into structural lumber.
Green Built Texas homes are also built with sustainability in mind. Drainage considerations, weatherization techniques and durable cladding materials help minimize the effects of our harsh climate.
A builder can do only so much when it comes to how the home will perform. Homeowners play a big role in their home’s performance and, therefore, should take the utmost care to operate their Green Built Texas home as it was intended. Ongoing and timely preventative maintenance helps ensure a healthy, resource-efficient home for years to come.
Independent Third Party Verification
Building upon the quality control procedures associated with the ENERGY STAR certification process, GBT builders benefit from the services provided by third party verification professionals. These professionals also enter much of the information found in the program’s home registry.
Many third-party verifiers can provide diagnostic services that help homeowners determine cost-effective strategies to improve the efficiency of their existing homes. See the list of GBT Verifiers for more information.