Russell Busa of Sterling Homes Development Corporation is an award-winning custom home builder. He is a Certified Green Building Professional and an Energy Star approved builder. Russ answers commonly asked questions about green building and home improvements

Q. The term “green” seems to be overused these days. What makes a home "green"?

A. In the simplest terms, a green home incorporates environmental considerations and resource efficiency into the building and development process to minimize environmental impact. The design, construction, and operation of the home focus on energy and water efficiency, resource efficient building design and materials, indoor environmental quality, and take the home's overall impact on the environment into account. “Sustainable development” is another commonly used term for this approach.

Q. How do I know if a builder is green?

A. When considering a builder or contractor, homeowners should look for the Certified Green Building Professional designation. This means that the professional has undergone training from The National Association of Homebuilders in strategies for incorporating green-building principles into homes without driving up the cost of construction.

Q. At what point in the building or renovation process does a green strategy need to be incorporated?

A. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project.

Q. Does green building cost more?

A. Not necessarily. Many green features like high performance windows, insulation, air sealing and high efficiency heating/cooling systems have higher initial cost, yet give you more value by reducing monthly utility costs and improving indoor air quality. Also there are many consumer credits available from utility companies as well as tax credits from the government to encourage energy efficiency.

Thinking about going green in your home? Here are some common features to consider:
  • Pre-cast concrete foundation system
  • Superior insulation in the walls and ceilings 
  • Superior insulation in the walls and ceilings 
  • Water resistant wall sheathing 
  • Tankless hot water heater
  • Low- to zero emission volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints
  • Green guard approved adhesives 
  • Energy-efficient appliances 
  • Energy-efficient furnaces and AC units 
  • Green flooring options (e.g., bamboo, cork, concrete) 
  • Radiant heating

To learn more about Sterling Homes email   or call 978.579.9833.