Happy Earth Day, Everyone!
In honor of Earth Day this weekend, we thought we’d take this opportunity to answer some of our frequently asked questions about what it means to go green, why we do it, and how you can make your home more sustainable today.
Our design build team at SoCal Contractor is comprised of LEED AP certified design professionals, which essentially means everyday is Earth Day for us! We get a lot of questions about our sustainability initiatives and what it really means to be a ‘green designer.’ So here it is: Our answers to your sustainability questions:
What Constitutes a Green Home?
We define green homes as safe and healthy dwellings. On the less extreme end of things, that means prioritizing healthy building and design materials: from lead-free paint, to energy-efficient windows, and upholstery that’s off-gas-free.
A truly green home is, ideally, completely energy neutral (zero energy)– meaning it generates and uses all of its own energy or is energy positive, meaning it generates more than it puts out in the form of solar energy panels and top of the line energy-efficient insulation. We’ve seen fabulous green homes in which the homeowners actually get money back on their gas and electric bills.
What Can I Do To Make My Home ‘Greener’ and More Sustainable Today?
Sustainability also applies to the process– don’t worry about having to remodel your home and change everything over night, focus on little steps you can take to make your home healthier like installing air purifiers, water filters, and a smart thermostat. That’s a great place to start! Or simply replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, and replacing cleaning supplies with toxin-free ones.
If you are looking to do a complete design overhaul, you’ll want to be sure to hire LEED AP certified design professionals who prioritize health, safety, and sustainability during construction as well as within the materials they utilize.
What Does It Mean to be a LEED AP Designer?
What Makes Certain Building Materials Green?
Certain building materials are not recyclable, biodegradable, or give off too much carbon monoxide which isn’t reabsorbed in its construction process. We look, instead, to materials made from natural resources, like limestones, clays, and woods, rather than plastics or other man-made compounds.