Local green builder offers pointers for wannabe-green homeowners

Green is a way of thinking.

You’re ready to buy a home but one facet of the process has you stalled: You want your abode to be green. While green-building might not yet be mainstream, according to a report published last year by McGraw-Hill and the National Association of Home Builders, green housing starts are expected to jump from 2 percent in 2005 to an estimated 5 to 10 percent of residential construction in 2010. So what Sacramento builder can make your green dream come true?

GreenBuilt Construction was founded in 2003 with an environmentally friendly approach that balances the need for safe housing with respect for the natural world. “Our goal is to provide homes whose construction provides healthy living spaces and reduces the negative footprint on the surrounding environment,” says GreenBuilt’s President Scott Blunk.

Blunk, a mechanical engineer by profession, became interested in more responsible building after a series of jobs and a stint in the Peace Corps. GreenBuilt Construction was the result. He offered this mini-list to get you started in going green with a new home.

The most important thing buyers should do is determine if any green groups have certified the new house. The best certification on a home comes from the United States Green Building Council.

“A purchaser can also look to see if a home has been rated under the Energy Star Program,” Blunk said. “This program focuses on the energy side of a home and not any of the other green attributes. An Energy Star-rated home is still a better performing, more green home than one that is not.”

A green home is more energy efficient and it will have been built using low VOC paints and fewer formaldehyde-containing components, which means a healthier home.

The home’s location should make good use of the land and be located within an established urban or suburban area—less travel time for occupants and existing infrastructure to support a growing population help to maintain green spaces and agriculture land.

Was the home built with environmentally-friendly materials including reused and recycled materials that are healthier for the planet? Does the builder employ green tactics including reduction of waste and sorting of trash?

Green is a way of thinking, according to Blunk. “Green is not an item to be purchased off the shelf and plugged into a home—it is a holistic approach to a home’s construction, operation and maintenance.” For more information visit www.greenbuilt.com or call (916) 371-4970.