The Hudson Valley is host to some of the best environmentally conscious construction in the nation. How do architects and builders achieve this?
- Using materials that are durable, sustainable and non-toxic
- Creating a super insulated building envelope, able to maintain consistent temperatures and controlled moisture
- Actively harnessing renewable energy such as geo-thermal energy and solar power
- Using passive solar design to retain natural heating and cooling
- Situating the building to make maximum use of the sun's energy and heat
- Using landscaping that requires less water and maintenance
If you're looking to purchase a "green home" in Ulster County, click here. Green construction is about planning ways to balance the need for development with the needs of future generations. Its goal is to minimize the negative environmental impact of a building, while maximizing the use of renewable resources to construct it where possible, as well as to keep it warm and cool. Buildings that are poorly designed, cheaply built and badly insulated require massive amounts of non-renewable fossil fuels to keep them habitable. Green buildings use far less, if any at all.
The Hudson Valley is home to more than one community of Zero Net Energy homes. These are homes that aspire to using no fossil fuels. They can give you a power bill of zero dollars: that's right, you're giving the electric company, and the oil company exactly $0 per year. In fact, some produce so much energy that it can go back to the grid... and the electric company gives the homeowner a check or a credit!
A green building is also a healthy place to be. The air quality is better than in traditionally constructed homes. You'll get plenty of sunlight. Better insulation and ventilation can eliminate mold, mildew, and toxins such as VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which can be released into the air through the off-gassing of some building materials.
You'll spend less time and money on maintaining the landscaping. It will reduce your water usage, pest and weed control needs. This means fewer toxic chemicals leaching into our shared water supply. Eco-friendly landscaping also encourages biodiversity by supporting the local habitat.
It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Some homes have "green" elements, along with traditional ones. For example, you can add solar panels to reduce your electricity bills, while maintaining an oil based heating system. Or you can reduce the size of your lawn, while adding native plants that require less maintenance.
Whether you are seeking a new home with full LEED certification (a gold standard in energy efficient construction,) or just looking to gain long-term cost savings with a few smart investments to make your structure more energy-efficient, there's a whole lot of positive in green construction. Click here to see what's on the market right now.