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Green Building

What is an “Eco Friendly and/or Green Building?”

“Eco Friendly” is a term used to describe a dwelling that is designed, built, and operated in a manner that achieves the greatest possible energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and resource efficiency.

Some examples include:

  • Salvaged materials to substitute for new materials.
  • Recycled content materials reuse waste products that would otherwise be deposited in landfills.
  • The use of local materials supports the local economy and reduces the impacts of transportation.
  • The use of rapidly renewable materials and third-party certified wood minimizes the impact of natural resource consumption to manufacture new building materials.
  • The application of No VOC or Low VOC paints and stains. (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Alternative energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal.
  • Using Energy Star Rated appliances and energy efficient light bulbs to greatly reduce the amount of energy consumption.
  • Passive Solar which maximizes the Suns energy by the strategic placement of windows.
  • The use of alternative insulation such as recycled denim and soy based foam.

Why Build Eco Friendly and/or Green?

“Eco Friendly or Green” design and building is the opportunity to use our resources more efficiently while creating healthier and more energy-efficient homes.

According to USGBC, U.S. Green Building Council:

In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 39% energy use/ 72% of electricity consumption
  • 38% of greenhouse gas emissions. (CO2)
  • 40% of raw materials use
  • 30% of waste output/136 million tons annually
  • 14% of potable water consumption
  • 25% of wood harvested

Green Building offers many benefits to homeowners and its surrounding environment.

Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance
  • Contribute to overall quality of life

Health and community benefits:

  • Improve air quality, thermal, and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health

You don’t need to build a new home to incorporate Green Building concepts.  I’ve found that even the smallest changes to your existing home can make a difference to improve the energy efficiency and air quality of your home.   Here are a few ways to achieve this.

  • Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient (CFL) compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Upgrade appliances with Energy Star rated appliances.
  • Replace old aluminum windows to Energy Star rated dual pane vinyl windows.
  • Use No VOC paints or stains.

Useful and Informative Green Building Links: