Older homes have great potential to be green.
Owners of older homes often have misconceptions that their homes can’t be green because of the fact that they were not built using the latest high performance building materials and building techniques. The truth is that in many respects, older homes can outperform newer homes in their quest to be green, energy efficient, healthy, and sustainable.
Consider the three R’s cornerstones of being green, recycle, reuse and reduce. Older homes (especially historic homes) were often built from natural materials that were sourced close by, such as local stone and wood. We often see beautiful stone, cement, wood, terrazzo and slate floors in older homes, as well very durable clay tile roofing, low maintenance split-face stone or brick walls, slate patios, and stone windowsills.
Older homes were designed with passive cooling and heating in mind, which is clearly evidenced by their far reaching window overhangs, window awnings, windows located to provide cross ventilation and air to be drawn in and out of whole house attic ventilators.
Thick, solid stone walls and floors provided lots of mass to regulate and sustain comfortable indoor temperatures. Stone or pizza ovens that helped to conserve heating energy are often found in older homes, as are greenhouses that were built on the south side of adobe walls to provide solar heat.
Greening an older home, therefore, offers good opportunities to reuse and recycle by making use of the above mentioned features and not having to buy new building materials. Instead resources can instead be spent on improving insulation and installing high performance air-conditioning and water appliances or installing solar panels.
See how the advantages and opportunities to green an older community have been taken up by the community in the historic neighborhood of Coral Gables in Miami:
Thank you for visiting. Please leave a comment below and then check out the rest of our BLOG as well as the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) and other useful loans on our Green Home Financing page that can make the greening of older homes possible. We look forward to making Green Home living your reality. Marius J Smook – Licensed Real Estate Eco-Broker, LEED AP for HOMES, Home Energy Rater.