Green Building: Good For You, Good For The Environment
By Garrett Dorsey III, Coastal Bend Green Built Chair
Green building is a term we hear often in the construction and marketing of new homes. But what does it mean exactly? More importantly, what does it mean for the homebuyer? Green building is defined by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive as “1) increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and 2) reducing building impacts on human health and the environment.”
In South Texas, the major green building program is the Coastal Bend Green Built Program (CBGB). Founded in 2007 by the Coastal Bend Home Builders Association and affiliated with the United States Green Building Council, the CBGB has certified over 1,000 homes as “green built.”
Why should a homebuyer value a green-built home? The most obvious reason is the return on investment. From Day 1, a green-built home will provide increased savings on utilities from the home’s reduced energy consumption. While this alone would be enough, the home’s positive impact on the occupants’ health and the natural environment are benefits that one can only refer to as “invaluable.”
According to the US Green Building Council, buildings consume 14% of potable water, 40% of raw material, and 39% of energy. The Coastal Bend Green Built Certification requirements focus on all of those by reducing the use of energy, water, and raw materials with the ultimate goal of protecting our natural resources.
Homes certified as Coastal Bend Green Built are inspected during construction and tested upon completion by an independent third-party inspector who verifies that the home has met all of the program’s requirements. The third-party inspections and testing are key components of the Coastal Bend Green Built certification. While many claims can be made about a home’s energy efficiency or about its construction quality, the only way homebuyers can reduce their anxiety about these concerns is to ask for proof. They should ask to see the actual certificate, which the homebuyer should receive anyway for potential resale purposes.
We invite you to learn more about how you can improve your quality of life and live healthier through the sustainable construction of the Coastal Bend Green Built Program. It’s the right thing to do for your family and for your children’s future. We all have an obligation to see that our children and their future generations can continue to enjoy the quality of life that we do.