What makes for a green home in reality?
Oftentimes, what you get sold is not what you want, or at least, not the exact thing you want.
Asterisks and other typographical symbols come in handy for sellers who are unable to match their sales pitch with actual delivery of goods matching the promised specifications.
It always pays to go through sellers’ claim with a fine tooth comb and linger on fine print until you are reasonably satisfied with what you are getting.
In most cases, the discrepancies may be as acceptable as the difference between a lime and a lemon.
Both citrus fruits are unlike and have their own distinct characteristics, but the nomenclature is used freely and interchangeably.
Characteristics of an ideal green home
They should NOT have been built on agricultural land, wetlands, and animal habitats and national parks.
They should also be located within walking distance of parks, schools, and stores to give you every opportunity to walk or bicycle.
As a rule of thumb, the smaller the house the easier it is on the resources. The house should not be too big is how you should be looking at the issue.
The orientation should be such as to allow plenty of natural daylight to help reduce energy consumption. Skylights are a great way to make use of natural light.
The exterior should have shading devices like sunshades, and canopies. A landscaped roof helps to reduce heat absorption.
It will have been constructed with nontoxic building materials, and furnished with safe non-toxic paint.
Furniture and woodwork should be sourced from rapidly renewable sources like bamboo. A good part of the material should be sourced from recycled content.
A green home should have energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling, and water-heating systems and also automated those systems.
A good portion of energy should be sourced from renewable sources through harnessing of solar, wind and any from other non-conventional sources.
It should have an efficient wastewater management system.
Water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and rainwater harvesting and storage system are some of the other required basic water management systems.
The garden should be landscaped with native plants and also those that do not consume large amounts of water for the upkeep.
Mixing pragmatism with green sentiments
If you are in the market for a ‘green’ home, what are your options?
All things considered, taking a middle of the road approach would seem to be our best bet.
It is possible to tick most of the points above and stay true to your eco convictions to a large extent.
But give a lot of thought to economic considerations and logistical limitations in your quest for your dream green home.