Building Green

Greenhouse - Green Home - Building Green

Green Building Practices - When building a new home or addition, the homeowner is in the best position to make solid decisions that will limit the amount of energy it will consume, the effects it will have on the environment and the monthly utility expenses for years to come.

Energy Efficient Planning - The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resources (EERE) is making it easier for both home owners and builders to evaluate efficiency options through the establishment of the E-Scale. The E-Scale is a simple ranking system developed for making decisions when on buying, building or updating a home.

The ultimate goal on the scale is what the EERE calls the Net-Zero Energy Home. However, for a contractor, home or product to be E-Scale certified the standards are reasonable. Green options are becoming easier to evaluate has started to standardize building practices and materials on the E-Scale. Aside from selecting an E-Scale certified contractor, structure design or building material, below are some general considerations when building green.

  • Solid Building - Durable structures, Insulation, Ventilation
  • Green Material - Recycled or Salvaged Material (reduce demolition wastes), Sustainably harvested materials (bamboo), Healthy Products
  • Energy Efficient Appliances
  • Solar Conscious Building - Effectively using the sun for natural lighting, heating and cooling

Water Conservation Planning - Landscaping and Gardening alone make up to 40% of an average household's water use during the summer months. Furthermore, during a summer downpour that delivers a � inch of rain 50 gallons of on an average single family roof which becomes waste water that ultimately finds its way to streams, rivers and oceans through drains into sewer systems. Several considerations can be considered with addressing your new home's ability to conserve water and reduce run-off:

  • Water saving appliances
  • Water Harvesting through rain barrels, cisterns and underground tanks
  • Water Retention Landscaping using berms and drought resistant plants
  • Green Structures (i.e. green roofs)