Green home

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A green home is a type of house designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, while also focusing on the efficient use of "energy, water, and building materials."[1] As green homes have become more prevalent we have also seen the emergence of green affordable housing. Green affordable housing shares the same aims as traditional green homes but emphasise affordability, which inevitably reduces the environmentally friendliness of the home. The idea of affordable green homes is a contentious issue with critics claiming this is a fallacy and that green homes are inherently more costly than traditional homes.


The parts that make up a green home are not universally agreed upon. There do not exist national standards on what constitutes a green remodel, beyond non-profit certification. In general, a green home is a type of house that is built or remodeled in order to conserve "energy or water; improve indoor air quality; use sustainable, recycled or used materials; and produce less waste in the process." This may include buying more energy-efficient appliances or utilizing specific building materials that are more efficient in keeping both cool and heated air inside the structure.[2]


The original major modern turn to the green building movement began in the 1970s, after the price of oil began to increase sharply. In response, researchers began to look into more energy efficient processes, following in the wake of the earlier environmental movement. Many different organizations sprung up in the 1990s in order to promote green buildings and some were also dedicated to improving the knowledge of consumers so that they could have more green homes. The International Code Council and the National Association of Home Builders began the paperwork in 2006 in order to create a "voluntary green home building standard".[3]

The Energy Policy Act was legalized in 2005, which allowed tax reductions for homeowners that could show their utilization of energy efficient changes to their homes, such as solar panels and other solar-powered devices.[4]

In March 2007, New Zealand bank Westpac became the "first New Zealand bank to offer a 'green' home loan."[5]


There are various types of certifications globally that declare a home as a Green home. The U.S. Green Building Council is an example of a type of organization that gives out green home certifications.[6] Its certification is titled Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The factors that it considers in its certification system include "the site location, use of energy and water, incorporation of healthier building and insulation materials, recycling, use of renewable energy, and protection of natural resources".[7]

The National Association of Home Builders also independently created its Model Green Home Building Guidelines during the same period as a type of certification, along with a number of other programs for various utilities.[8][9]


  1. ^ Roberts, Jennifer (2003). Good green homes. Gibbs Smith. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ Jennifer Alsever (June 5, 2007). "Green home remodeling still a gray area". MSNBC. Retrieved November 23 13 , 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ Queen, Bill; Lori Hall Steele; John Barrows; Lisa Iannucci (2009). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling. Penguin. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ Matt Woolsey (March 7, 2007). "Groundbreaking Green Home Tax Breaks". Forbes. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ Maria Slade (November 12, 2006). "Green home loans boom". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ Janet Frankston (April 10, 2004). "Some buyers will pay more for 'green' home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ Streep, Meryl (2008). Green guide: the complete reference for consuming wisely. National Geographic Books. p. 290. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ Yudelson, Jerry; S. Richard Fedrizzi (2008). The green building revolution. Island Press. p. 60. Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  9. ^ Dennis, Lori (2010). Green Interior Design. Random House, Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2010.