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.
- Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
- Improve air and water quality
- Reduce solid waste
- Conserve natural resources
- 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: