Evaluating a Potential Green Home Location
With so many issues to consider when building a green home, from finding a good green architect to choosing what materials to use, it is easy for the most basic and fundamental issue of such a dynamic project to be neglected — where to build? Deciding on the right green home location is a vital step towards not only an efficient home, but an efficient plan, destined for success. Some people seek out unadulterated land, known as a greenfield site, while others are more comfortable in the city, or even suburbia, and look for an urban infill to revitalize for their green home.
There are preliminary issues to go over, no matter where one decides to start building a green home. First, what are the zoning laws for a potential site? Every town has specific regulations for safety as well as appearance, that need to be respected. With a reasonable plan, and possibly the assistance of a landscape architect or a land-use lawyer, one can apply for a variance to certain zoning regulations to suit their needs.
Second, what is the proximity of the green home location to the community? Even with an extremely efficient home, a ten or fifteen mile drive to the grocery store, to school, or work every day will greatly offset the positive impact of green construction with vehicle emissions and fuel usage. This is why green communities can be wonderful, as they tend to have local shops and services, neighbor car pooling, and bike-friendly roads.
Third, how is the environment around the potential site going to be affected? This includes looking at the impact a building and its waste will have on vegetation, the earth, wildlife, and neighbors.