Benefits To “Green” Building Projects
Many “green” building practices are becoming standard-place in the home design business – things like low water-usage plumbing, renewable material selections, construction waste reduction, wind turbines and solar panels. Whether trying to reduce monthly utility bills, capture a tax savings or simply reduce one’s impact on the environment, many buyers are looking for greener options.
Graeme Daley, the founder and CEO of Daley Design + Build, knows there is more to green building than just monetary benefits, though. Daley has had the privilege of working on green building projects for a number of other companies throughout his career.
One build really stood out to him: a project with Gary Meisner of Meisner + Associates / Land Vision. They produced a green roof design package for Mercy Hospital West which, when completed, became the largest green roof in the state of Ohio.
“This green roof is visible from the two adjacent patient towers at the hospital,” Daley said. “It was installed for the beneficial psychological impact to patients. The green roof allows them to overlook 2.45 acres of life, as opposed to 2.45 acres of uninspiring white membrane roof.”
Daley hopes to incorporate green roof structures into more and more of his designs in the coming years. He is really into the idea of rooftop vegetable gardens that would empower home owners to grow their own food. A shallow hydroponic (water-based growing) or aquaponic (water-based growing with fish living in the reservoir) system, he says, can minimize weight of a garden structure due to no deep soil beds, while maximizing plant growth and food production.
“To me, sustainability has a component of self-reliance and self-sufficiency,” Daley said.
“I feel that true sustainability is only achieved when a home facilitates the production of food and/or water which can actually sustain the life of its inhabitants.”
When considering whether or not to go green, customers are often apprehensive about the upfront costs of green upgrades. Daley points to an upgrade like a geothermal HVAC system, which might cost around $30,000, instead of the $15,000 a standard system might cost. But, a geothermal system can reduce monthly heating and air conditioning expenses by up to 85 percent.
“Most green technologies financially benefit the owner-operators who are in it for the long haul,” Daley said.
Daley said that one big incentive for people to go green in the Cincinnati area has been the city of Cincinnati’s Real Estate Tax Abatement for new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified homes and Cincinnati is not alone. According to the market research website Statista, the number of LEED-certified projects in the United States rose from 296 certifications in 2006 to 65,000 in 2017.
Not only is green building good for the consumer and the environment, but it appears to be a great booster to the field of home design for the future.
If you are a homeowner looking to get in on the wave of green home additions, contact Daley Design + Build for skilled and knowledgeable green building project advice and production.
For more information, call 513.315.4447 or visit www.daleydb.com