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March 8, 2011 / The Green Scene

TOP 4 GREEN MYTHS…BUSTED!

HEY WESTMOUNT! We all know people are afraid of “change” sometime, especially when it comes to your home…But have no fear, the Westmount Eco Squad is here to bust all those nasty myths you may have heard from going green!

Myth #1: Green homes cost more than other homes.

Sustainable buildings often requires more expensive building materials, smarter technology and complicated systems than conventional buildings. But when thinking long-term, green building actually saves money because the materials won’t have to be replaced as often. So while initial costs may seem like a lot, green building offers better value when you consider the life-cycle costs.

Myth #2: You need solar panels to be truly green.

Solar panels were once the universal symbol for green building. But the reality is that sustainable building means integrating a variety of energy efficient solutions that work together — from heating systems to interior finishes. When building green, focus on the house as a whole, not just particular green features like solar panels.

Myth #3: Mansions cannot be green.

We know this is one of your main concern, Westmounters.Whether or not a big house is green depends on how the building’s materials and resources are being allocated. For instance, a 10,000-square-foot house built for a family of four can’t be considered green, no matter how many sustainable features it has. But it would be green if 20 people lived in that same house. Lowering consumption is an important benchmark in sustainable building, and that thinking extends to the materials that go into a house as well as the energy that’s required to heat and cool it.

 

Myth #4: You can’t make an existing home green.

Altering your home’s structure and operating systems — foundation, framing, wiring, plumbing — can be very expensive. But “greening” an existing home doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. Upgrading windows, putting more insulation into the walls or attic, sealing air leaks, and installing energy-recovery ventilation equipment are all examples of upgrades that will make a house more energy efficient.

Find the rest of the myth-busting click here.

-Lorne S.

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