Customers interested in buying Manhattan real estate often ask about a home’s “greenness”: was there a conscientious effort on the developer’s part to use environmentally friendly materials? For buyers, I’ve found that it’s not often about saving on their electric or water bill—it’s more of a karma thing: feeling good that the developer applied forward-thinking technology to every aspect of a home’s construction.
I talked with Robert Harvey, research and development manager at green-builders Blu Homes, based in California and Massachusetts. He had insight into the innovative technologies that compose a green home.
“The greenest buildings take energy-efficiency into account all the way down to the home’s structure,” Robert told me. “It’s built to work with the environment from the very beginning to the very end, from a tight building envelope to a more efficient transportation process that makes for less carbon emission.
Average energy savings of a green home vs. traditional stick-built home can reach 70%
Blu Homes uses engineered steel frames in their homes, so the house not only works in harmony with the environment, but protects the family from nature’s more dangerous elements, such as heavy snowfall or an earthquake.
The company also uses finished hardwood floors to ensure that homeowners are protected from allergens that would otherwise be trapped by dense carpet.
Lastly, insulation guarantees that the building’s technologies can function at their most efficient levels, and that no energy is lost.
Really, constructing a green home is a conversation between the homeowner, the home, and their relation to the outside world. “To actually be part of homebuilding that is more environmentally conscious and sustainable in the long term is a process of making every detail of the home work together,” says Robert. “It’s all about taking into account how clients will interact with these green features.”