Awaken to the Power of Home
By Jennifer Pippin, CPBD, AIBD
Lake Norman, N.C.
Green can mean many things, depending on who you talk to. Each person must define for themselves what Green means to them.
For this Lake Norman homeowner, Green is living in a sustainable home they love, which will in turn protect and shelter them literally, for many generations to come in a healthy environment. If you don’t love your home, you will not take care of it and you may not keep it.
A sustainable home is one that will last; it is durable, flexible, accessible, healthy and loveable.
The available Green features for Lake Norman homeowners are numerous and reflect the many choices a homeowner can make to build and live Green. Many of these choices can provide a home which has an instant return on their investment. This can be achieved by creating a home with the following 11 elements:
- Healthy indoor air quality, from incorporating an HVAC air cleaning system and installing interior materials with low or no VOC’s, such as paints and formaldehyde free cabinetry.
A reduced annual energy bill, over other houses of similar size, due to energy efficient techniques used, such as foam insulation, housewrap and Low E, Energy Star rated windows. In addition, all the hot water needs for the home can be generated by solar panels or tankless gas units, not electricity;
A stable, minimally fluctuating indoor temperature, provides improved occupant comfort, due to the tightly sealed building envelop;
Reduced noise level from outside disturbances, due to better quality insulation and a tighter building envelope;
No maintenance exterior finish materials on all surfaces;
Additional power can be generated by solar photovoltaic panels to provide a back-up power source, from a battery bank, to keep the household functioning during an outage from the utility company;
Reduced water usage from water efficient fixtures and a rainwater harvesting system from capturing roof run-off;
Abundant daylighting, which allows for literally no electric lighting needed to function in the home during the day, which also improves productivity and the occupant mood.
Include a live – work home office / studio space, which allows for no commuting time, reduced gas useage, reduced carbon emissions and a much happier homeowner.
Landscaping which is drought tolerant, incorporating native plantings, which require minimal watering and are beautiful to enjoy year round.
Lighting control system provides the ability to dim the lights, which reduces the electricity needed to power the bulbs and lengthens the life of the bulbs. In addition, this control system also provides for a safer home, where you never need to enter a dark house, one button control on the car visor garage door control turns on a pathway of lights through the home upon arrival.
The time has come to go back to our beginnings, where home was more than a shelter; it works within its surroundings, with its local climate and nurtures the inhabitants. Homes are places to be respected for their power to rejuvenate, refresh and restore our energy. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to provide healing spaces for our bodies, mind and spirit. To bring balance to our lives we must consider the importance of our personal space, to bring peace and harmony to our soul and our planet.
If we will change our thought processes about home, open our minds and condition ourselves to respect our home as much as our planet, giving ourselves time to relax in a home which has the ability to nurture us in so many ways. Your home must give you joy to be in it and a healthy home you love, will provide you more than that. Consider how your space makes you feel, incorporate nature, and find access to happiness. Embrace your home intentionally, incorporating the natural elements available to you and allow it to embrace you – for it is a powerful energy source and resource. Live Green Lake Norman!