Beware of Fake “Green Homes”

June 19th, 2011

If you are a green-goer and want to own a “green home”, do beware of homes that are falsely labeled as “green”. Do your checks before making your “green home” purchase. Not only would it ensure that you get what you are looking for, it would secure your health in the long run.

It appears that in recent times, as construction companies and estate developers realize people’s increasing desires to go green and own a “green home”, they have started building “green homes” for sale.

Unfortunately, the knowledge that many of these developers have about green living is limited. This means that these businesses are are jumping onto the “green” bandwagon with awareness of only a portion of the big picture. As such, the “green homes” they build might be green in one way (e.g. energy efficient, makes use of renewable energy sources), but yet may be polluting or environmentally-destructive in other ways.

For example, according to a study “Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health” by the Institute of Medicine, some developers who try to create more “energy efficient homes” by reducing the avenues for energy leaks (eg. through the walls, window or door gaps) and making the houses “air-tight”, unknowingly create air-tight toxin concentrated “green homes” that are highly toxic for their residents.

This is because as the developers make the houses airtight and “energy efficient”, they forget that the toxic chemicals (e.g. VOC paints) that they use to build the houses have no avenues for dispersal. They might not be aware that the conventional construction materials that they use are toxic to health and the environment in the first place! The volatile toxic chemicals then build up to high concentrations in the indoor atmosphere within the air-tight buildings. In the long run, this atmosphere will bring health problems (e.g. cancer) to its residents. Read more at FoxNews and Natural News.

So if you are looking to get a “green home”, make sure you do your homework.

Check on the credentials of the estate developer and make sure that they have the necessary expertise to design and construct a holistic “green home”.

Check on the paint; insist on low or non VOC paints.

Check on the materials used (e.g. type of wood, type of glue etc). Ask for sustainably produced or harvested materials from local sources as much as possible, instead of having the materials fly from across the world to your location. This is to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation.

If you have laid your eyes on a relatively new but non-green house, you will have to carefully consider the impact of tearing down this building to convert it into the “green home” of your dreams — it could create more waste and use up more materials and energy in reconstructing the building than if you had left the non-green building alone.

Seek to incorporate renewable energy sources into your home, but only if it does not produce excessive carbon footprints. Find out the viability of such green technologies for your home before you actually spend that money, energy and material.

Make use of nature’s wonders to help you create your “green home”. Use indoor plants as natural air filters for your rooms. Use natural substances for cleaning your “green home”. Use natural fertilizers and pesticides for your home garden.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2011 at 4:57 am and is filed under Developments in Green Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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