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Sustainable Construction: 4 Green Building Techniques To Implement

Written by Paul Esajian

Key Takeaways

  • Green building techniques are becoming more and more popular with builders and prospective buyers, so it may pay to familiarize yourself with some of today’s newest strategies.
  • Sustainable construction has gained momentum since its environmentally conscious nature often translates into savings for consumers.
  • Green building material may cost more to use, but their inclusion is often an investment worth making.

From architects and contractors to businessmen and real estate investors, green building techniques (including, but not limited to, solar energy, Eco-friendly products, and sustainable resources) are becoming more and more popular with each passing day.

As routine human activities continue to have a negative impact on the environment, the demand for green building is skyrocketing. Homebuyers are prioritizing sustainable materials and energy efficiency over more space and location, and investors are starting to take notice of the shift in preferences.

In order to keep up with the competition and maintain a competitive advantage, investors are taking steps to make their businesses more sustainable through “greenhabbing.” From new marketing tactics to the use of different materials, the best investors are jumping on the “green” bandwagon now, before it’s too late.

Because trends in the industry are ever-changing, investors must stay current on the latest fads (specifically green building) in order for their businesses to stay relevant, which is why we’ve put together a list of green building techniques that will take any fix and flip property to the next level. Adopting these green building techniques will not only benefit the environment by reducing homeowners’ carbon footprints, it will also benefit a business’ bottom line.

What Is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable construction is the process contractors use to construct a building that is both sustainable and efficient throughout its life. Otherwise known as one of today’s most popular green building techniques, sustainable construction will witness contractors implement environmentally friendly practices to design, build and operate a structure. Everything from the materials used to their function in the property is designed to leave the smallest carbon footprint possible, meaning the home isn’t contributing to the deterioration of the environment. In fact, sustainable construction and green building techniques are meant to help the environment, all while ridding the property owner of unnecessary energy and water bills.

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Green Building Techniques For Your Rehab Property

While transitioning to these green building techniques will be more costly up front, they will help you save money in the long run, not to mention help keep your buyers healthier. (And a great way to invigorate your summer home improvement projects.)

Energy Efficient Appliances

Any appliance tagged with an ENERGY STAR stamp of approval is one you should include in your green property. This label indicates that, that particular product has been deemed “energy efficient” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Not only do these appliances offer tremendous cost and energy savings, they also do not compromise performance. Other examples of energy efficient products include:

  • Insulation: Did you know that heating and cooling account for 56 percent of a property’s total energy consumption? In order to reduce this expenditure, proper insulation is key. Air has a tendency to leak out of small cracks near windows and doors. The right insulation will stabilize the temperature in a home all the while significantly decreasing its energy bill.
  • Energy Star Windows: After installing proper insulation, don’t forget about your properties windows and skylights. Energy Star has created dual paned glass that will reduce a homeowner’s energy bill up to 12 percent. The lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions thus minimizing the carbon footprint.
  • Eco-Friendly Water Heaters: Rainwater harvesting systems and tankless water heaters are two great options for green fix and flip investors. A harvesting system will collect rainwater from roofs and gutters and save it to be used in sprinklers systems and toilets. Tankless water heaters heat only the amount of water that is being used at a single time as is passes through an electric coil. This means, your heater does not have to keep a massive tank of water warm at all times, thus reducing the energy consumption.
  • Smart Thermostat: Three to five percent of your energy bill can be saved by setting your thermostat one degree lower. While these savings may not sound significant, they add up over time. A programmable thermostat will tell your HVAC system to turn on or off upon reaching a designated temperature. This way, you are not wasting energy when you’re not home.

Green Landscaping

The best investors understand the importance of curb appeal, so how can you improve a property’s curb appeal and energy efficiency at the same time? Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it sounds. If you’re starting from scratch, consider planting on the southern and western sides of the property. This will create shade during the hottest times of year hopefully resulting in the homeowner wasting less energy on air conditioning. Another option is opting for minimalism. Think desert mixed with zen garden. This means stock up on the garden pebbles, succulents and outdoor statues. You may even decide to install artificial turf! The options are endless.

Eco-Friendly Hardware

You don’t have to be a green expert to install energy-efficient light bulbs and water conserving fixtures. Low-flow faucets, toilets, and shower heads are a great way to conserve water in any home. If you really want to take it to the next level. Install a similarly efficient washing machine and dishwasher. Low-flow options will save you money without jeopardizing function. Lighting is another necessity eating away at your energy bill. LED and CFL bulbs will be more costly up front, but will last far longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

Solar Panels

Solar energy is clean and renewable, which is why solar panels are gaining popularity in the green fix and flip industry. For homeowners who want to utilize our sun’s natural energy, solar panels are the only way to go. Depending on how many panels you choose to install, an energy bill can decrease from 20 to 100 percent. Keep in mind, this improvement is one of the most expensive green upgrades to choose from; however, the benefits are endless. Government grants, incentives, and significant tax breaks are also available to homeowners who install solar panels.

Tips For An Eco-Friendly House

If you are a homeowner who wants to adopt several green lifestyle habits, consider implementing these ideas in your own home:

  • Keep appliances that are not in use (or are fully charged) unplugged. This includes but is not limited to kitchen appliances, beauty appliances, laptops, cell phones, etc.
  • Keep all lights turned off during the day and only turn lights on at night in the room you are occupying.
  • Recycle
  • Buy reusable containers (i.e. Tupperware, water bottles, utensils, etc.).
  • Partake in activities that do not waste electricity (i.e. excessive internet or TV use).

You don’t have to be a professional green real estate investor do adopt these green building techniques. Just commit to one energy efficient upgrade per property and you’ll be well on your way to competing with green experts.

What green building techniques are you most excited to find in your next home? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on today’s most sustainable practices in the comments below: