Western North Carolina offers some of the most visually spectacular land for sale in the NC mountains that you’ll find anywhere. And when you’re building a mountain home in such an unspoiled environment, it makes good sense to consider incorporating materials, techniques and features that will make it as “green” as possible.
At The Coves Mountain River Club, we encourage and support efforts to create homes that are healthier, self-sustaining, and more cost-effective in the long run and use up fewer natural resources.
Here are some of the specific benefits you will derive from a taking “green” approach with your design. It’s important to note that they won’t cost you any more than if you were building a conventional home.
Improved indoor air quality
- The paints, adhesives, sealants and finishes used in the construction of “green” homes emit considerably less toxic waste, and there’s no residual effect that can cause smells, exposure to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and even respiratory illness.
- A properly-sealed “green” home also has a more sophisticated ventilation system that constantly brings clean, fresh air inside. There’s less likelihood of mold developing, so you’ll enjoy much healthier living conditions.
- In addition, radon-mitigation systems can be set in the foundation. They allow harmful radon gas from the soil to be vented to the home’s exterior, so your level of exposure is significantly reduced. The Environmental Protection Agency believes that radon may be the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
People building “green” mountain homes near Asheville have begun to recognize that there are cost savings involved as well.
Return on investment
A green home is a durable home. For a homeowner, that means less work and expense to maintain the home properly, and components of the home won’t need to be replaced as often, if ever. “Green” building options that that serve this purpose include:
- Durable roofing materials – some with 40- or 50-year warranties.
- Recycled-content decking – can last up to five times longer than traditional wood decking and never needs to be treated or painted.
- Chemical-free pest controls – discourage termites and other pests by separating all exterior wood-to-concrete connections with metal or plastic fasteners or dividers and by locating all new plants at least 36 inches from the foundation.
Water and energy efficiency can save you as much as 70% on your utility bills. Energy efficiency makes a home more affordable to live in and more attractive to prospective buyers if you decide to sell. Homes with “green features” can command as much as 7% in the resale market. Besides saving on utility bills, a “green” home employs construction techniques that can reduce so2me costs during the building process. Some of these are:
- Creating a tight thermal envelope that’s sealed to reduce air leakage, designing and locating ductwork to minimize energy loss and choosing low-emissivity windows to help decrease heating and cooling requirements.
- Installing a smaller HVAC system is made possible when there’s a high-quality thermal envelope, providing greater comfort and lower upfront and operating costs.
- Framing with 2-by-6 studs spaced at 24 inches allows the use of more insulation, which can reduce wood use and labor costs.
Finally, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce water use and generate additional savings for the homeowner:
- Installing Energy Star-rated appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers
- Using shorter hot-water runs, insulated hot-water pipes, low-flow faucets and high-efficiency toilets that require 1.3 gallons of water or less per flush
- Choosing high-efficiency irrigation systems such as low-flow drip systems, bubblers and low-flow sprinklers that minimize overspray and evaporation and reduce runoff
Lower Environmental Impact
Using renewable, clean energy sources and reclaimed materials also lessens our reliance on fossil fuels and other depleting resources. For people looking for land for sale NC mountains properties present an opportunity to plan “green” homes that blend perfectly with their surroundings – both in appearance and in their respect for nature.
Building a mountain home is a fun project, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Come by and visit us soon at The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir. See all we have to offer and how much there is to do here. You’ll soon understand why mountain homes near Asheville have become so popular with retirees who want to stay active.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.