Not every pre-designed or stock comes with “Green” features and Energy Savings.
But, you can easily add features and products to the plan to make it “Green” and efficient. You can also incorporate “Green” ideas in the planning stages beginning with your site work. For example, the first thing to consider is how your new home should be positioned on your lot. This is sometimes referred to as the “smart” or intelligent “Siting” of your new home. On every conceivable lot, there are bearings in which to face the house for improved energy performance and thus increased comfort. The primary objective should be to plan the site in regard to the path of the sun. Also to be considered are prevailing winds, but to a lesser degree. The next thing you should consider is perhaps changing the exterior wall thickness from 2×4 studs to 2×6 framing. While the additional strength of the thicker wall would be a plus, the big benefit for your family will be the extra insulation, and the reduced energy use for the life of the home. However, there are now certain types of insulation that can give you higher R-values in 2×4 construction which equal that of 2×6. You should consult with insulation companies regarding this. You might even want to change your house plan to specify Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) in the construction of your outside walls. The energy performance of these products is miles ahead of stud framing of any kind and should be a “Green” change to be considered. So, the simplest and most effective measures you can undertake to “Green up” your house plans are: Site the house “smart” in relation to the sun, and revamp your exterior walls to either SIP’s, 2×6 construction, or new types of insulation so that additional R-values are part of your home’s future.
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