The web site Earth911.com offers five tips for home buyers to create a new dream green home or substantially renovate an existing home. It’s interesting to see what a media outlet like this that is geared to the average consumer says about efficiency. Here are their recommendations:
- Verify the materials the builder plans to use. Ask the contractor for the list of materials that will be purchased for the project, and then research them to see if they are environmentally friendly.
- Be willing to pay a premium for energy efficiency. Solar water heating systems and power systems cost more up front but they will pay for themselves over time.
- Find energy-efficiency house plans. Most builders have not dived into cutting-edge efficient designs, but some have started offering eco-friendly house plans.
- Seek builders partnering with the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program. This program uses a third party to verify that homes are at least 40% to 50% more energy efficient than typical new homes.
- Recapture usable water. Greywater--used water from sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines--can be reused to flush the toilet and water gardens.