Buying a Certified Issaquah Green Home
Issaquah "Built Green" Homes a Smart Choice
Issaquah "Green" homes can be great for the environment and can save you money over time - assuming of course you plan to live in the home for several years or more - and they're a "smart choice" for the environment. "Built Green" is an environmentally friendly building program created by the Master Builder's Association of King County and is designed to provide homeowners with "comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate." Most home builders in Issaquah and King County are participants in the Built Green program.
For environmentally-conscious future Issaquah homeowners wanting to minimize their environmental "footprint" and their heating/cooling and electric bills, there are four main areas upon which to focus.
Energy Efficiency In the Home
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states as of December 2012, that buildings account for 68 percent of the nation's total energy consumption. Green homes can help significant reduce this figure via energy-efficient appliances; well-sealed, double-glazed windows; and good insulation. Alternative energy sources such as solar panels can also reduce energy use.
Choosing Green Building Materials
Building materials are determined to be "green" based upon several factors - some of which we often don't thing about beyond the materials. Factors to consider are the manufacturing process, shipping, and reclamation procedures, and if the materials are composed of renewable resources. Reclaimed materials such as wood from an demolished home or other structure; or recovered newspapers for use in insulation are often considered to be green. Counter-tops made from recycled materials are often considered green, too. Ceramic tiles, because of how much energy is required to form them, are often not considered green unless reclaimed from a demolition project.
Home Location And Orientation
Especially of importance in the Seattle area, a home for which the main living areas are facing south will be warmed by the sun in winter, and will not be overheated by the sun in summer. This helps significantly on our very cool winters when the sun is so low in the southern sky. This is considered "green", as is proper window placement which allows for cross-breezes which can lower energy costs on warmer days. Living in proximity to work and other frequented spots can reduce automotive energy consumption, too. In fact, the City of Issaquah's long term planning calls for higher density homes and commercial centers, which will allow residents to live closer to where they work.
Interior Air Quality
Good air quality means promoting a safe, toxin-free environment. Using non-toxic paints in your home plus other green materials can improve air quality. Most notably because, over time, synthetic paints and materials break down, releasing harmful particles into the air.
Issaquah Built Green Programs
Green homes in Issaquah have always been a popular choice, as many home buyers specifically seek out fully certified green homes. The Issaquah Highlands Built Green homes have been successful, including the "z-Home" condominium project, which as of this blog post, only had one remaining condo for sale. The one, two, and three-bedroom units are 800 to 1,700 square feet each and were originally priced from $385,000 to $625,000. In keeping with Issaquah's effort to provide high-density housing, the project is located near a park-and-ride facility and close to services.
When buying a green home in Issaquah, be sure to ask questions of the seller including how the home was built, which materials were used in construction, and whether the home's appliances are Energy Star-rated. For more information about green homes in Issaquah, and the Built Green program, follow these links: