Why Going Green Is a Win-Win: A Homeowner’s Perspective
Last summer, an endurance athlete from Arizona named Erin and her husband purchased a GreenPoint Rated townhome in Redondo Beach. The home’s unique design and construction promised its owners a smarter, cleaner home with lower energy bills.
About the Home
Built by local green developer Fred Koch, the 1,800-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath townhome is a contemporary craftsman just a few blocks from the beach along Highway 1. It was Erin and her husband’s first home purchase. They had previously rented what Erin describes as a 1930s-era, energy-sucking apartment.
“I was already in love with the place when I saw it,” says Erin, “but the greenness made me feel really great about buying it.”
Aside from the home’s open layout and excellent location, several green features stood out at once to Erin:
- clean, vibrant, LED lighting
- tankless water heater
- low-flow toilets
- drought-tolerant landscaping with succulents
Other green features were built right into the home and can’t be easily seen, although they contribute significantly to the home’s durability and energy efficiency:
Fly ash concrete
Made with the ash “waste” that is captured during coal production, this concrete is stronger and has a more sustainable bond than Portland cement.
Used for siding, cement board is stronger than wood, energy efficient, and practically maintenance free.
The "heat island effect" can cause the membrane found on rooftop and balcony decks to separate from drain systems, which can lead to expensive water damage. Instead of roof drains, the home uses scuppers supported by rain gutters to manage exterior water flow.
Metal flashing protects the wood fencing from absorbing water, preventing deterioration.
Climate-rated house wrap
Using house wrap rated to the appropriate climate zone allows a home to "breathe" properly.
Why Buy Green?
Now that Erin and her husband have lived in the home for a few months, the things that bring the couple the most pleasure are how light and airy the home is, the outdoor spaces, and the open layout for entertaining—all of which were thoughtfully designed with comfort and performance in mind.
Erin professes love for the home’s water-efficient master bath, although she confides that low-flow toilets don’t flush as powerfully as she’d like.
She’s pleased to report that her water and electric bills are comparable to their rental, which was considerably smaller than the townhouse.
“It's a win-win,” says Erin. “You'll reduce your daily impact on the environment and use less water, which we all know is massively important right now. And you'll reduce your electricity and water bills.
“I wouldn't want another place that's not green,” she adds. “It's a crime not to build green homes like this one going forward.”
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