What is the Difference between Sustainable & Energy Efficient?
The terms green, energy efficient, and sustainable are often uses interchangeably. In case you have never heard of Al Gore, the overhanging cloud of climate change is an issue that receives plenty of attention from policy makers, businesses, and even homeowners. To make a long and controversial story short, sustainable housing focuses on reducing harmful impacts on the environment. Energy efficient homes operate based off of reducing the overall energy consumption of your home. Making your home energy efficient reduces your carbon footprint, while sustainable homes aspire to make a net zero impact on the environment.
The Path to Sustainable LivingSustainable homes are constructed or remodeled with renewable resources, such as recycled demolished building materials, low VOC products, bamboo flooring, or EcoRock drywall. They are often powered by wind, geothermal, or solar energy. Also, green home companies advocated installing Energy Star appliances. Coupled with the ongoing efforts of sustainability, there are a variety of products available for construction and remodeling. If you need an example, the EPA provides a more thorough list here. If you really want Mother Earth to award you a gold star and seriously vamp up your home's resale value, you can have your home certified by a third party. The U.S. Green Building Council allows you to officially certify a new construction home or major renovation project as "green." This is most commonly referred to as a LEED certification.
Chattanooga has LEEDs certified homes, too! Located near Jefferson Park, Madsion Street is home to several of the earliest LEEDs certified housing in the city.