Trends in Home Building: Green Homes

Green is a popular buzzword. The idea of living in a home that does not contribute excessively to a carbon footprint is appealing, but can it be done by the average homeowner? YES. Building a green home is a task that can be approached incrementally and realistically — even by you! We will review a few pieces of helpful advice for how to build a home that is more eco-friendly, making the world a better place one small step at a time.

Building A Green Home: Where to Start

The concept of a green home has gained significant traction in a world where environmental consciousness is more critical than ever. But why is sustainability so vital, and how can your home contribute to a brighter, greener future? There are many motivations behind the green home revolution and all are valid. Discover how even small changes in our daily habits can make a big difference for the planet.

Imagine stepping into a home that feels like a breath of fresh air—a space that seamlessly integrates with nature while reducing your carbon footprint. With the right approach, you can create an oasis of sustainability within your own walls.


Choosing the optimal location for green homes involves careful consideration of environmental factors, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Better siting can maximize natural light, harness prevailing winds for ventilation, and minimize heat gain or loss. South-facing orientations in the northern hemisphere capture more sunlight throughout the day, reducing the need for artificial lighting and heating during colder months. Additionally, positioning homes to take advantage of natural shading from trees or landforms can help keep interiors cool in warmer climates, reducing reliance on air conditioning.

Now, we don’t often get too many choices on home location. But, integrating native plants and greenery into the landscape surrounding green homes also offers numerous benefits. Native species are well-adapted to local climate and soil conditions, requiring less water and maintenance than exotic plants. They also provide habitat and food for local wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation. 

Strategic planting of trees and shrubs can create microclimates, buffering homes from harsh winds, noise pollution, and excessive heat. Incorporating edible landscaping with fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and herb patches enhances aesthetic appeal, promotes self-sufficiency, and reduces food miles. Folks in more arid landscapes can utilize native plants and shrubbery to attract local pollinators and other critical bioforms.

Incorporating green roofs and walls into green home design further enhances sustainability and environmental performance. Green roofs, covered with vegetation, absorb rainwater, reduce runoff, and mitigate urban heat island effects by providing insulation and evaporative cooling. Rainwater retention with barrels can prove smart year-round in more arid or desert climates.

Extend the lifespan of roofing materials and improve air quality by capturing pollutants. Green walls, or vertical gardens, not only insulate buildings but also contribute to urban greening, offering habitat for birds and insects while enhancing aesthetic appeal. Both green roofs and walls can be integrated into passive cooling strategies, reducing energy consumption for cooling in the summer months.

Additionally, utilizing permeable paving materials for driveways, walkways, and patios allows rainwater to infiltrate the soil, replenishing groundwater and reducing stormwater runoff. This helps alleviate strain on municipal drainage systems and prevents pollution of water bodies with sediment and contaminants. 

Features such as rain gardens and bioswales in landscape design enhance water retention, filtration, and purification processes, contributing to overall ecosystem health. By prioritizing better siting, native plantings, and green infrastructure, green homes can minimize environmental impact and create healthier, more resilient communities.

Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency in your home is crucial for reducing environmental impact and lowering utility bills. It’s also much easier than you think.

One effective strategy is upgrading to high-efficiency windows, which can significantly reduce heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. Energy-efficient windows, certified by programs such as Energy STAR, are equipped with advanced coatings and multiple panes of glass to minimize heat transfer. This enhances indoor comfort and decreases the need for heating and cooling, lowering energy consumption and carbon emissions. 

Investing in window treatments such as shades or blinds can improve insulation and reduce energy loss. Check out Monumental’s highly energy-efficient windows and doors today.

Another key aspect of enhancing energy efficiency is upgrading lighting systems to use energy-saving technologies, such as LED bulbs. LED lights consume significantly less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan. They reduce both electricity bills and the frequency of bulb replacements. 

By replacing outdated lighting fixtures with Energy STAR-certified LED products, homeowners can achieve substantial energy savings while maintaining adequate lighting levels throughout their homes. Putting in smart lighting controls, such as timers or motion sensors, can also optimize energy use by automatically adjusting lighting based on occupancy and natural light levels.

Properly insulate your home! It is essential for minimizing heat transfer and maintaining consistent indoor temperatures. Adding insulation to walls, attics, and floors helps reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, resulting in improved comfort and energy efficiency year-round. 

Energy-efficient insulation materials, such as spray foam or cellulose, offer superior thermal performance and can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. Sealing air leaks around windows, doors, and ducts with weatherstripping or caulking enhances the effectiveness of insulation and prevents energy waste.

Look into purchasing green power from renewable sources such as wind or solar. This can further reduce the environmental footprint of your home’s energy consumption. Many utility companies offer green power options that allow homeowners to support renewable energy generation and offset their carbon emissions. 

By opting for green power, homeowners contribute to the transition to a cleaner energy future and demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability. With energy-efficient upgrades like high-efficiency windows, LED lighting, and improved insulation, purchasing green power can significantly enhance the overall sustainability of your home while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Water Efficiency

Improving water efficiency in a green home conserves this precious resource and reduces water bills. One effective strategy is to replace conventional faucets, toilets, and showers with water-saving fixtures. 

Low-flow faucets and showerheads use significantly less water than standard fixtures without compromising performance, helping to reduce water usage without sacrificing comfort or convenience. They are required in certain states, including California

Similarly, installing low-flow toilets, which utilize advanced flushing mechanisms and smaller water reservoirs, can cut water consumption by up to half compared to traditional models. These simple upgrades conserve water and reduce the energy required to heat water, enhancing overall sustainability.

Incorporating native landscapes around your green home is another effective way to improve water efficiency. Native plants are well-adapted to local climate conditions and require minimal irrigation once established, reducing the need for supplemental watering. 

Select drought-tolerant species and implement water-wise landscaping practices such as mulching and proper soil preparation. Homeowners can create beautiful and resilient landscapes that thrive with minimal water input. Permeable paving materials, as mentioned before, can be used for driveways and pathways to allow rainwater to infiltrate the soil, replenishing groundwater and reducing stormwater runoff.

Reusing wastewater is another innovative approach to enhance water efficiency in a green home. Greywater recycling systems capture water from sources such as showers, sinks, and washing machines, treat it to remove contaminants, and then repurpose it for non-potable uses such as landscape irrigation and toilet flushing. 

By recycling greywater onsite, homeowners can significantly reduce their freshwater consumption and lower their environmental impact. Rainwater harvesting systems can collect and store rainwater for outdoor use, reducing reliance on municipal water supplies and reducing strain on local water resources.

Choosing the right water heater is also critical for improving water efficiency in a green home. Energy-efficient water heaters, such as tankless or heat pump models, use less energy to heat water than conventional storage tank water heaters, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Water-saving features such as heat traps and insulation can improve water heating system efficiency, minimizing heat loss and optimizing performance. 

By selecting the most appropriate water heater for their needs and incorporating water-saving strategies throughout the home, homeowners can significantly enhance water efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Materials Efficiency

Materials efficiency is a cornerstone of green home construction. It focuses on minimizing resource consumption and environmental impact while maximizing performance and longevity. 

One effective strategy is selecting thermally broken aluminum framed windows and doors such as those manufactured by USA-based Monumental Windows and Doors. These products feature a layer of insulating material between the inner and outer sections of the frame, preventing heat transfer and improving energy efficiency. 

By choosing thermally broken aluminum frames homeowners can reduce heating and cooling costs while enhancing indoor comfort. Additionally, aluminum is highly durable and recyclable, further contributing to the sustainability of the building materials.

Incorporating recycled or recyclable components into green home construction is another important aspect of materials efficiency. Utilizing materials made from recycled content, such as recycled steel or reclaimed wood, reduces the demand for virgin resources and diverts waste from landfills. 

Selecting easily recyclable products at the end of their life cycle ensures that materials can be diverted from the waste stream and reused in new applications, further minimizing environmental impact. By prioritizing recycled and recyclable materials, homeowners can reduce the carbon footprint of their homes and support a circular economy.

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is another key consideration in materials efficiency for green homes. Choosing building materials with low embodied energy, such as locally sourced or renewable materials, helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions associated with production and transportation. Selecting materials that require minimal maintenance or replacement over time reduces the energy and resources needed for ongoing upkeep. By opting for durable, long-lasting materials, homeowners can minimize the environmental impact of their homes while ensuring resilience and longevity.

And, incorporating passive design strategies into green home construction can enhance materials efficiency. Passive solar design, for example, utilizes building orientation, shading, and thermal mass to optimize natural light and heat gain, reducing the need for artificial lighting and heating. 

By maximizing the use of natural resources and minimizing the reliance on mechanical systems, passive design reduces the overall materials and energy consumption. By integrating thermally broken aluminum framed windows and doors, using recycled or recyclable components, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and incorporating passive design strategies, green homes can achieve optimal material efficiency. They will continue to provide sustainable, comfortable living spaces for occupants.
Contact Monumental to get in touch with a local dealer today.