A few simple strategies guide the G Home process and can be accomplished in phases depending on your budget, schedule, and priorities. The foundation of the G Home strategies are centered around better indoor air quality, better energy and water efficiency, and better aesthetics compared to average construction practices.
The following six steps will help guide you:
Step 1: Energy
Make your home energy efficient. Every home has different issues,and the best way to resolve them is to schedule an energy audit. Many utilities offer a $99 incentive to have an approved provider test your home and offer suggestions for the energy efficiency improvements that have the highest return on investment. If you are replacing your mechanical system, be sure the Contractor is designing according to Manual J, D, and S.
Budget for a 1500 square foot home: $300 – $8500
Step 2: Water
Improve water efficiency by reducing turf, using non-invasive plants and a professionally designed irrigation system. When replacing fixtures inside the home, look for the WaterSense label.
Budget: $3500 – $12,500
Step 3: Air
The good news is, most of the things you did in Step 1 improve your indoor air quality. This could be attributed to tighter ducts, envelope sealing, fresh air intake, improved filtration, and improved ventilation. Be sure your wet rooms are well ventilated, along with gas water heaters and clothes dryers. When selecting adhesives and coatings, choose those that contain low volatile organic compounds.
Budget: $1000 – $2500
Step 4: Location
Choose a location that has a Walk Score of 40 or better. Reducing
commute time will save you money, and will create more time for you
to participate in the things you enjoy.
Step 5: Curb Appeal
Make your home look good, ‘curb appeal’ can be achieved with professional landscape design.
Budget: $2000 – $15,000
Step 6: Interior Design
Make your home comfortable and feel good, by choosing the right paint colors, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and space design.Consider materials that are durable, within your budget, easy to install, and manufactured locally. There are many good Architects or Interior Designers to choose from, who can make this step easier.
Budget: $9500 – $50,000
Some relatively simple and low cost improvements include replacing incandescents with CFL or LED lighting, box gardens, a ‘nest’thermostat, an ENVI energy meter, recycle bins, or composting strategies.
Budget: less than $1000
As always, the greenest building is the exiting one, so if you are remodeling you are one step ahead in making your home green compared to building new.
If you want solar, only install once your home’s HERS Index is 70 or lower. Contact a RESNET approved contractor for your home’s HERS Index.
Lastly, improve your home’s marketability or bragging rights and get it green certified by a nationally recognized rating system, which requires third party verification.
If any of the above strategies sound complicated, or like too much work, then G Street is here to help.
Finally, when ready to begin your project be sure to screen your contractors, or look for a reputable referral source such as ROTH.
Philip Beere, MBA, is Founder and President of G Street™ and G Home™. Mr. Beere lead a team of twenty Arizona building professionals to create the curriculum on the 2009 IECC and subsequently train more than 1,200 participants. Beere received the 2012 Energy Value Housing Award for remodeling homes as guided by the IECC 2012 and the ICC 700. He is the recipient of the 2012, 2011, and 2010 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Remodel Advocate of the Year award, and the 2012 and 2010 NAHB Green Remodel Project of the Year.