HGTV Green Home 2008: Eco-Friendly Features

Seven basic areas of sustainability were targeted in the building of HGTV's Green Home 2008. Find out about all seven areas and get eco-friendly ideas for your own home.

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Energy and Atmosphere

Most people associate a green home with one that is energy efficient. Though there are many other factors that make a house sustainable, energy efficiency is at the heart of the issue. 2008 HGTV Green Home will use about 20% to 30% less power than a conventional home. The following are several ways that 2008 HGTV Green Home accomplishes this savings.

Insulation, Insulation, Insulation - The entire house, including the attic and foundation walls are insulated. The walls and ceilings of the house are insulated with a sprayed foam that expands to fill every cavity and void. This is augmented with rigid insulation all around the exterior.

Energy Star Labeled Home - 2008 HGTV Green Home will be certified by the EPA's Energy Star Labeled Home Program. This means the house must exceed the minimum code requirements for energy efficiency by 20%. Energy Star also requires a third-party inspector to make sure the insulation and systems in the house are done correctly before they are covered up.

Air Infiltration - A common misperception is that a house needs to breathe. It's true that a house must be ventilated, but it should be controlled. Breathing is essentially uncontrolled air leakage. 2008 HGTV Green Home has ventilation that pre-conditions incoming air and introduces it in a controlled manner. The amount of air infiltration is also checked by a third-party inspector.

Efficient Windows - The windows in 2008 HGTV Green Home are among the most efficient. They reduce the amount of glare and heat gain through high performance glass. They are also well-built to limit the amount of air leakage.

Superior Heating and Air Conditioning Systems - The heating and air conditioning system has a number of features that improve efficiency, including individual controls, no CFC refrigerant, sealed ductwork, a high SEER rating and an energy recovery unit.

Efficient Hot Water Distribution - The house is designed to minimize the length of hot water lines. The lines are also well insulated. This reduces energy wasted waiting on hot water at the faucet.

Water Heating - Tankless water heaters save energy by only heating water when needed and providing consistently hot water.

ENERGY STAR Appliances - By purchasing Energy Star Certified Apppliances, the house uses 10-50% less energy and water than standard models.

Sealed Attic - The attic is sealed and insulated to reduce heat buildup in normally hot attic storage areas. This allows ductwork to be contained within conditioned space and greatly improves comfort.

ENERGY STAR Lighting Fixtures - By using Energy Star Certified light fixtures, the house provides excellent lighting while reducing the amount of electricity used.

Solar Power - 2008 HGTV Green Home generates some of its own electricity with solar power. The house includes a photovoltaic (PV) system that provides about 10% of its required power.

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