Over the past few years, several publications have placed the state of Washington as one of the greenest states in the union. And its largest city, Seattle, is widely regarded as one of the greenest cities in the United States. This can be attributed to the city’s energy-saving incentives, particularly for residential areas. Seattle promotes a “city green building” campaign through its series of Green Home Guides, which address common building topics and help with creating homes that are cost-effective and environment-friendly.
Also referred to as the Overview Guide, this pamphlet focuses on remodeling a house into a green, energy-saving home. Benefits include reduced maintenance, lower utility bills, and greater eco-friendly impact. Green remodeling requires design professionals and contractors, and that’s what the Hiring a Pro Guide is for. The pamphlet addresses identifying the right professionals that can guide you through the remodeling process to come up with a more spacious and energy-efficient home. On the other hand, if you are a DIY kind of person, Seattle has the Do-It-Yourself Guide for you. It gives you step-by-step instructions on identifying the factors that can improve your home’s energy efficiency and how to implement such upgrades.
Building and Reuse
The Seattle Green Home Guides also include pamphlets that specifically address certain building materials used for homes. The Painting Guide, for instance, helps you to identify the right brand of paint that is smog-resistant, maintains or improves indoor air quality, and does not release leaded paint dust or other health-endangering hazards. With the Landscape Material Guide, you can identify the type of low-maintenance and non-toxic landscape elements you want for beautifying your home, such as decks, patios, fences, rockeries, and walkways. The Roofing Guide helps you with choosing a roof that cuts costs—both in implementation and in energy consumption. There’s also the Salvage & Reuse Guide if you wish to use building materials or architectural salvage left over from remodeling projects.
There are guides that also address certain utilities or amenities in the house. The Bath & Laundry Guide assists you with saving on energy use in the bathroom, including light, ventilation, and heat. It also guides you on what type of fixtures or flooring to purchase and install. The Kitchen Guide takes you to the place where you prepare and cook food, examining all elements—including the countertops, cabinets, and even the sinks—to determine the size and type of materials used for more space and energy efficiency. The Lighting Guide focuses more on the lighting in your home, making sure that the design and implementation—not only in the kitchen and bathroom, but everywhere else—is durable and efficient. Also, you can reduce the amount of runoff from rainwater—and thus prevent damage to the house—by following the practices outlined in the Managing Rainwater Guide.
The Buying Guide can help you find the best home for you and your family. Factors include utility bills, distance between home and work, modes of transportation, and household health. Also worth considering is how eco-friendly a house is, which is determined by factors that include the type of construction materials used and the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted for warmth.
This article was provided by Amanda Nies, organic gardener and locally-sourced consumer. If you’re a Texas resident looking to make additional improvements to your home while supporting a local company, Amanda recommends visiting www.roofrepairsinhouston.com.