30-point checklist for buying a new, high performance green home.
There are many builders who are today offering homes in many shades of green. Each offers a range of different building technologies, optional features and green certifications. All of this can prove to be daunting to a first-time green home buyer. I have, therefore, put together this green home buying checklist list which I hope will make the selection process easier.
- Has a high-performance heat pump system been installed or is it an air conditioner that only just meets code? More info Additional info
- Does the air system include a programmable thermostat and also a humidistat? One that can be remotely managed is the way to go. More info.
- Is the air system zoned so it only conditions the parts of a home that are occupied? More info
- Has the air-duct system been properly sealed and tested for leakages? More info.
- Has the home shell been super insulated with any form of advanced insulation such as polyurethane spray foam insulation? More info. Alternatively, has the home been insulated by using an advanced constructed method such as Insulated Concrete Forms More info, or Structural Insulated Panels See the video More info, or by core filling the home’s concrete blocks? More info.
- Has the home been fitted with high-performance thermal windows that have multiple panes of Low-E glass that are separated by spaces that contain insulating argon gas, and are their frames made from materials that do not conduct temperatures? More info and video.
- Has the home shell been air sealed during construction and then tested with specialized blower door equipment? More info Blower door info.
- Does the home have a “cool” roof, which has been constructed with materials that have reflective and heat releasing properties? More info
- Is the attic insulated and air sealed in such a way that it will keep the air ducts cool at all times? More info. Alternatively has a radiant barrier been used to achieve similar results? More info.
- Is the hot water heater either solar More info, or is it a heat pump hybrid More info, or is it tankless? More info.
- Does the home have a pool, and if so is it serviced by a variable speed pool pump? More info.
- If you want the home to be zero energy, does it have a solar PV system to generate its own electricity? How this works. Additional info: Do zero energy homes cost more? Is zero energy the same as net-zero energy?
- Is the home fitted with a whole house filter that will allow you to drink pure water from any tap in the house? More info.
- Is the air conditioning/heating system fitted with a germitol UV light system which stop mold from spreading via the air ducts? More info
- Is the air conditioning system also fitted with an electrostatic media filter or other form of air purifier to take care of airborne particles, allergens and viruses, notorious for causing allergies, bronchitis and asthma? More info
- Are the carpets toxin free certified Green Label + by the Carpet and Rug Institute? More info
- Are the interior walls painted with No VOC paint?
- Tightly sealed homes needs breathing assistance. Has it been fitted with an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) which mechanically introduces fresh outside air while exhausting polluted indoor air? More info.
- Is the incoming water line fitted with a maintenance-free, electronic scale removing system that eliminates scale in the plumbing and softens water for the whole house as it enters the home. More info.
- Does the home have an on-demand hot water re-circulation system to eliminate wasting water and energy while waiting for shower hot water? InfoMore info
- Are the showers fitted with Water Sense certified low-flow rose heads? More info
- Are the bathrooms fitted with Water Sense certified dual flush toilets? More info.
- Does the home include a rainwater harvesting system? More info
- Is the irrigation system water efficient or preferably, mostly a drip irrigation system More info.
- Is the landscaping designed with to save water and reduce maintenance? More info EPA info.
- Does the landscaping include native plants?More info
- Has the home been designed to withstand hurricane force winds More info and demo video, or has it been constructed using a technology that does, like insulated concrete forms More info Demo video
- Have the garage doors been reinforced with steel bracing that makes it harder for hurricane winds to blow them out? More info
- Has the home been constructed in such a way that it poses a sufficiently lower risk against wind and rain damage, that it will be eligible forreductions in premium costs? More info
- In order to save on costs by not selecting unnecessary or overlapping options, Have you been professionally assisted to make the above choices in a holistic manner? More info.
I sincerely home that this checklist is of value and will help you to decide between the different building technologies and optional features when buying a green home. I am constantly updating and adding to it so watch out for my emails.
Our services at Florida Green Home Brokers are always FREE to buyers, and we contribute $500 towards closing costs if you buy through us, as well as $250 toward our Switch to Green, Switch it Forward Fund, to help fight poverty and climate change.
Let us show you how we can be Your Green Team to help you to Live in a High Performance Green Home, that will Save You Money and help you to Pay Your Mortgage Off Years Earlier, while at the same time, live in a home that is Healthier, More Comfortable, Safer and Kinder To The Earth.
Marius Smook – Lic. Real Estate Eco-Broker, LEED AP (Homes), Cert. Energy Rater.