Whether you’re looking at luxury homes, homes in gated communities, or buying an older home that’s been lived in by several generations, energy conservation might be the biggest factor in how homes get chosen today. One of the reasons people are gravitating more toward homes in gated communities and building luxury homes in established developments is that there’s a greater level of control to be exercised over how the home is built with regard to the latest energy conservation trends. Simply put, it’s easier to include these amenities when building from the ground up rather than attempting to install them in an already existing structure.
The term “net zero home” is frequently bandied about when talking about energy conservation, but many folks don’t really understand what it means. A truly net zero dwelling means that the structure actually produces a greater volume of energy than it consumes. This condition is achieved through a number of factors working in tandem:
Of these, it’s the air sealing that makes the greatest difference. Most people know they need to watch for leaks around windows, but a truly well-sealed home means sealing between the walls and the ceiling, particularly at corner intersections. This is best achieved through use of Insulated Concrete Form (ICF), which resemble stack-able foam blocks that have specially constructed material that seals them together, thus tightening down even further on air passage.
Some of these devices — solar paneling, for example — require more of an initiative than others. But there is great savings to be had over time through the use of what are called “photovoltaic” panels which convert solar energy into direct current electricity.
If you’re looking at buying a home or luxury real estate, keep these things in mind. Building within a gated community may change the timeline of your overall plan, but it could result in a greener home that’s more self-sufficient and costs less money to run in the long haul. It also may increase the value on the other end, should you find yourself selling your home years later.
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