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HomeHomes
Published: Friday, 10/12/2007

Going Green Does Not Mean Giving Up Luxury

(NewsUSA) - The concept of "going green" has become increasingly popular as more people want to save the environment. Builders across the nation are taking steps towards green construction by incorporating energy efficient products into their projects, be they single-family, multi-dwelling units or commercial structures.

Consumers may hesitate to "go green" for fear of losing the luxury in their homes, but convenience isn't lost when using green building products. The EcoManor, certified as the first "green mansion" by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a 5,000-square-foot home in Atlanta, GA, that demonstrates just that.

The residence is the first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified house in the Southeast. This organization encourages the use of more efficient resources through design, material selection, waste reduction, water conservation and reuse, and energy efficiency.

Green building products, such as the ones listed below, are used in the EcoManor.

* Low volatile organic compound or organic paints, stains, and sealants which emit little or no off-gassing of chemicals and provide a healthier indoor environment.

* Foam and cellulose insulation, which are made from recycled wood fiber, primarily newspaper, make the home extremely energy-efficient and quiet.

* Soy-based insulation and pressed hay-straw cabinets and wheat-straw doors are formaldehyde-free and made from natural materials.

* Properly sized heating and air conditioning systems using HEPA filters, along with controlled ventilation, help ensure that any pollutants in the house are filtered or exhausted to the outside.

* Solar tubes and skylights provide natural lighting throughout, helping to save energy.

* Solar Panels convert the sun's rays into electric energy.

* Dimmable compact florescent lights are 66 percent more energy-efficient than common incandescent bulbs, radiate less heat and provide the highest quality of light.

* Rainwater is channeled into cisterns that supply water for the home's toilets.

* Tankless water heaters provide never-ending, continuous, hot water while helping consumers reduce energy and heat water by up to 50 percent over that of the traditional tank storage heaters.

The residence is expected to have energy costs 80 percent to 90 percent below average for an Atlanta home averaging the same size.



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