“Greening” Your Basement

Aug 4, 2010 by

DES Building

People across the country and around the world are paying attention to products, technologies and lifestyle choices that lighten our impact on the environment. We can choose to “go green” in many ways –from buying a hybrid car or planting a vegetable garden, to supporting local businesses and investing in energy-saving home improvements.

If your home has a basement, then you just might be standing on a major green opportunity. Turning an unfinished basement into a finished living space is green for several reasons:

•    “The greenest house is one that’s already built.” This quote comes from an article written by architect and sustainability expert Carl Elefante, for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In order to gain the space you need, you should consider finishing your basement instead of moving or building an expensive addition. It’s greener to make better use of an existing building than to consume resources and energy by building a new structure.

•    Durable materials cut down on landfill use. Every year, 136 million tons of waste is created by tearing down outdated and dilapidated houses. Using durable, long-lasting materials is a green initiative because it reduces the amount of damaged, poor-quality building materials that go into landfills. Thanks to the innovative products developed by companies like Total Basement Finishing, it’s possible to create a finished basement that won’t need to be torn out and removed because it’s worn out. Go green by purchasing durable, maintenance-free building materials. They won’t end up in the landfill (for a long time, at least) and they don’t require additional resources for ongoing repairs and refinishing.

•    Eliminating mold helps ensure a healthy home. Mold is almost certain to grow in a basement that’s finished with conventional building materials like studs, drywall, carpet and plywood. All of these materials are organic, and that’s just what mold loves to eat. But there’s a new generation of moisture and mold-resistant inorganic materials, state-of-the-art waterproofing, and dehumidification strategies, that work together to eliminate mold as a major indoor air pollutant. A healthy home is a green home.

•    A finished basement can improve home energy performance. As a result of old products, and damages, the average unfinished basement is a major source of air leakage and wintertime heat loss. Improve your home’s energy efficiency by installing a finished basement wall system and replacing leaky, single-pane windows with energy-efficient basement windows.

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