Energy efficiency in the home just makes sense. It saves you money, it reduces consumption of resources, and it helps the natural environment.
Right across the Tampa Bay area, and especially in Pinellas County, energy efficient new homes are being built to reduce greenhouse emissions and to use land more efficiently.
Why Go Green?
It’s about personal stewardship for now and for the future. Building an energy efficient new home is one of the simplest ways a homeowner can reduce the harmful effects of wasting energy. One house at a time, consumers can make a big difference in lessening their carbon footprint.
In Pinellas County specifically, entire communities are being created to be energy efficient. Areas are being zoned as “mixed use development” to encourage walking and reduce vehicles and greenhouse gas emissions. These communities are about limiting sprawl so that land, energy and electrical grids can be used more efficiently. Walking, cycling and public transit services are being emphasized, while homes are being placed in close proximity to employment places. And a big part of the plan is encouraging the building of new energy efficient homes.
What Are Some Ways A New Home Can Be Energy Efficient?
Proper sealing. Cracks and gaps can cause drafts and air “leakage”, thus increasing the energy needed to warm or cool a home. An energy efficient home is constructed with cracks and gaps caulked around doors, windows, ducting, vents, pipes, etc. Some of these are difficult to seal after construction, so it is best to seal them while building is in progress.
Reduced thermal bridging. Wood studs are used efficiently and reinforced with rigid foam to prevent heat flow in the uninsulated pathways of the home’s internal structure.
High performance windows. Energy Star windows are the way to go. They have special coatings and frames to filter out harmful UV rays and reduce heat transfer in or out. They are also less likely to attract condensation that can eventually cause window sills to warp and paint to crack.
The Benefits to You of an Energy Efficient New Home
- Who doesn’t want to save some cash? Why pay extra for energy?
- Efficient home designs ensure reduced building costs and environmental impact during construction.
- Recycled materials can be used where possible in the construction of new energy efficient homes.
- Building practices will be more in keeping with the Florida climate, thus reducing energy consumption for cooling.
- Reduction in dust, pollens and bugs entering your home.
- If you build in Pinellas County, your entire new neighborhood can be “green”. The County will encourage the construction of new homes that comply with the LEED principles (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) set forth by the US Green Building Council.
- The Pinellas County program will help protect native ecosystems and habitat.
- You get the added value of teaching your kids the importance of being efficient with energy.
The Global Impact of Your Energy Efficient Home
Green building practices are only growing more widespread, especially if cities and counties add incentives like tax benefits and planned communities. The more energy efficient new homes are constructed, the better the impact on global climate and health.
**Did You Know: In Pinellas County, homes can even use some of their waste to generate more energy. **
Greg Nelson is the owner of Nelson Construction & Renovations Inc. He is a Florida State Certified Building Contractor, creating artistry in all areas of design and construction projects. He is a musician, and artist. A husband and father, Greg appreciates all the wonderful elements of family life.
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