The Encyclopedia Britannica describes green architecture as, “the philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials, and the siting of a building with consideration of its impact on the environment.”
Green architecture in Toronto and elsewhere has come a long way in nearly a decade.
What were once seen as the domain of alternative lifestyles, green homes have gained enough ground to almost be considered main-stream. Larger numbers of builders are now incorporating green architecture philosophies in their plans and larger numbers of homebuyers are demanding better green options.
But is it really worth building a fully green home?
Green homes generally have the following attributes:
- passive envelopes
- renewable energy options
- water capture features
- natural wastewater treatment for reuse in non-potable functions
- living, reflective or adobe style roofs
- repurpose existing materials
- use recycled materials
- compostable sewage options
If you want a home that gives off zero emissions and that generates its own energy, then yes, it is definitely worth building green. Although it might cost you more up front, the cost savings you’ll see by producing your own energy will certainly off-set the initial investment in the long run. And, now with rising energy costs, more homebuyers are becoming curious about renewable energy sources.
Should you decide to go the green route, make sure you hire the proper installers/builders. There are now architectural firms specialized in green home design and construction. Using someone who knows what they are doing will maximize the efficiency of your design and how your home is built. Even if you simply want to retrofit your existing home with solar panels or install a wind capture machine, using the proper company to help you get the right combination of passive energy sources is very important.
Once you have all of that in place, you will greatly reduce your footprint and even increase the value of your home.