Green renovating means incorporating sustainable, durable, and healthy design into the renovation of an existing home.
Why go green? Any renovation, large or small, you can take the step towards a greener, more environmentally friendly home. By increasing the energy efficiency of your home means a healthier, more comfortable living space, lower monthly operating costs and increased value.
There are many opportunities to make good environmental choices for your renovation. From fixtures to appliances, from insulation to windows and heating equipment - many of today’s products and systems deliver better performance with less environmental impact than even a decade ago.
Professional renovators will know how to put it all together, how to match old and new, and how to integrate state-of-the-art technology with the existing structure of your home. Take advantage of their expertise to make your home easier on the environment and better for you and your family.
There are three important considerations you and your renovator need to think about when greening your renovation project:
- Increasing the energy and water efficiency of your home. The decisions you make today will have a big impact on the environment, your wallet, for many years to come.
- Ensuring clean indoor air. Reducing high winter humidity levels and excess window condensation, eliminating mold problems and allergy issues related to dust, pollen or other pollutants in the air. A healthy home needs proper ventilation to bring in fresh air and get rid of stale or moist air, chemicals and other indoor pollutants.
- Choosing resource-smart materials and products. Heating equipment, windows and water-consuming fixtures have a lifespan of decades. When you renovate, you have the opportunity to significantly reduce the amount of energy and water your home uses. At the same time, you will cut the cost of operating your home, now and in the future.
There is a wide range of energy and water efficiency improvements you can make:
- Replace or upgrade your heating system with ENERGY STAR® certified products.
- If your project includes opening up exterior walls or re-siding your home, take the opportunity to add insulation.
- When installing new windows, choose higher-performance windows and look for Energy Star ® certification. Energy-saving features include multiple glazing (i.e. double or triple panes), gas fill, low-e coating and insulating spacers.
- Consider different combinations of window features for different sides of your home, to maximize solar gain, or to prevent overheating.
- Upgrade light fixtures and bulbs to compact fluorescent, or LED. Skylights and light tubes can cut down the use of artificial light during the daytime.
- Today’s new water heating systems are considerably more energy-efficient. On-demand water heaters are even more efficient because they reduce “standby losses”.
- When choosing new plumbing fixtures for your renovation, look for products with WaterSense® certification - these are among the most efficient on the market.
- A well-designed renovation makes efficient use of space-both existing and new-and lets you fit more living into less space, reducing future energy use.
- Don’t forget about green landscaping - from harvesting rainwater for outdoor use, to selecting drought-tolerant plant and grass species, to placing trees and shrubs to provide summer shading for your home.