How to Find a Green Luxury Home Builder
Living green doesn't mean sacrificing luxury and quality. Green luxury homes combine environmentally friendly building materials, construction techniques, and an eye for choosing sustainable options when creating your dream home. With a green luxury home, you still get access to extravagant plans shared by standard luxury homes, but you reduce your carbon footprint and help make the world a better place for generations down the road.
Look for Certified Green Professionals
The National Association of Home Builders provides certifications to contractors who are known to work green building techniques into house construction. They require two specific courses in green building and two years in the building industry. They must also keep up with continued education credits every three years. These professionals are also trained in how to incorporate green techniques into building without actually increasing the cost of construction, which is good if you weren't looking forward to spending a significant amount more. If the contractor received his certification some time ago, engage him in conversation about the latest green technology trends to see if he has kept up with the continued education requirement.
Consult Green Contractor Directories
As green construction is becoming more popular, so are resources to find contractors who use environmentally friendly building materials and techniques. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council publishes an online Green Home Guide that provides a list of builders and contractors who use green techniques. While you do need to do an additional investigation to confirm that the contractors do follow green building processes, it's a good starting point if you are uncertain about who is available in your community.
Asking About LEED Certification
The Natural Resource Defense Council recommends learning about LEED certification. This certification is used to measure exactly how green a building is, based on sustainability factors such as the site it's built on, the level of water efficiency and the types of materials used. If it's in your budget, focus on getting the highest LEED certification you can out of the four levels, with Platinum being the highest. Talk to your prospective contractor about LEED certification to ensure that they understand the system and how to remain compliant throughout the building process.
It takes more time to find a green contractor out of the general contractor pool to build your green luxury home, but it's well worth it. . Ask the contractor questions such as what makes this building material sustainable, or how do they cut down on the environmental impact of dealing with heavy machinery. You don't want to have a contractor who simply jumps on the green bandwagon without believing in saving the environment and creating a sustainable, green luxury house.
Ask to See Previous Green House Projects
Mortgage News Daily reports that the green house building continued to rise in popularity to 23 percent in 2013, with projections of reaching 31 percent by 2016. Talk to potential contractors to see locations of where they have created previous green projects. Ask what made the building greener than a typical house. If possible, talk to the homeowners without the contractors around to see whether they were happy with the amount of attention and care paid to the environmentally friendly requirements for building the home. Ideally, pick the contractor who already has extensive experience working on green buildings. You might want to save the environment, but you don't want your green luxury home to become his guinea pig for figuring out the whole going green movement.
How Green Do You Want to Go?
A house isn't built by one contractor alone. While the primary house builder may be green-certified, the plumber, electrician and other specialty contractors may not hold to green principles. Make it clear exactly how green you want your house and whether that desire extends to the various specialty systems in the house, as well as appliances and other furnishings.