1. What is Green Building?
  2. Why should I build Green?
  3. How many of the homes you build are Green Built Certified?
  4. Can I upgrade my existing home with Green Building Techniques?
  5. Who certifies a Green Built Home in the Traverse City area?
  6. Is Green Building more expensive?
  7. What are the Environmental Benefits?
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    What is Green Building?

    To build Green is to build with the conscious intention of promoting health and wellness for the home's inhabitants, the community and wildlife to which it belongs, and the world at large. Green building focuses primarily on three key issues, energy efficiency, indoor air quality and sustainability. We examine all aspects of building including land selection and site planning, home design, building techniques and selection of materials in an effort to promote each of the three green building components. When evaluating the sustaninablity of a technique or material we look at 5 key components: How well does it fulfill its function? How long will it last? How much maintainance is involved? How much energy/toxicity is used in its creation and/or transportation? What will happen to the products at the end of their life cycle (will they end up in a landfill or can they be brokendown and reused in some way?). As we make decisions we also perform thorough cost analysis.

    A good understanding of building science is imperative in today's market. With a wide variety of techniques and materials available it is not always easy to understand how to combine them effectively. Materials are not always interchangable. It is therefore important that we understand the house as a system. Because of the many materials and techniques available to us and the great diversity in land, climate and home design there are many different ways to build green. We respect different approaches that builders are bringing to what we commonly refer to as green building.

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    Why should I build Green?

    Green Building provides cost savings by reducing material use and waste; promotes energy efficiency and lower energy costs; sustains greater durability with fewer repairs; upholds healthier environments and enhanced comfort; supports better resale, and increases environmental awareness by reducing toxic emissions and the harmful affects of global warming.

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    How many of the homes you build are Green Built Certified?

    At Steinorth Fine Homes we have made a commitment to have all of our homes Energy Star Rated and Green Built Certified.

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    Can I upgrade my existing home with Green Building Techniques?

    By up-grading windows, increasing insulation, re-designing heating and cooling systems, air infiltration systems and using energy efficient appliances can significantly increase your energy efficiency in an older home.

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    Who certifies a Green Built Home in the Traverse City area?

    The Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area, Inc. has a Green Build Certification process which examines many of the aspects of green building, from how the house is sited and its location within a community to what kind of lighting is used throughout a home. A point system is used and criteria are given to builders to meet specific guidelines for the program. The E.P.A. also uses a program called ENERGY STAR. An ENERGY STAR qualified home is an independently verified home which is at least 30% more energy efficient than homes built to the national Model Energy Code or 15% more efficient than state energy code.

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    Is Green Building more expensive?

    Not necessarily.

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    What are the Environmental Benefits?

    Home energy use accounts for nearly 17% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 15% of energy consumption nationwide. Green Building can significantly reduce global warming impacts, minimize ozone depletion, and decrease toxic emissions. Since 1995 more than 350,000 of the nation's new homes have earned an ENERGY STAR label, saving home owners an estimated $200 million and eliminated approximately 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions of about 150,000 vehicles. Therefore, by building and buying ENERGY STAR qualified homes, homebuilders and home buyers can help reduce air pollution and lessen other environmental problems such as global warming, smog, and acid rain.