While there are many different definitions of Green Building out there, it is generally accepted as the planning, design, construction, and operations of buildings with several central, foremost considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section and the building's effects on its site.
- Reduce your energy costs by 20-30 percent and reduce your water usage by 40-50% by using WaterSensible faucets and plumbing fixtures.
- Your home is built more durably than most standard homes because of high-quality building materials and better construction methods.
- Local, state and federal governments offer tax breaks and other incentives for building LEED and ENERGY STAR® approved homes.
- The market demand for green homes continues to rise as consumers worry about rising energy costs.
- By using toxin-free building materials you'll combat indoor air pollution, which can be much worse than outdoor pollution. When building your new home consider using products like wheat-derived strawboard, natural linoleum made from jute and linseed oil, paints with little or no volatile organic compounds and toxin-free insulation made from soybeans.
- Keep your family-breathing better by installing natural ventilation with the use of mechanical ventilation systems to filter and bring fresh air inside and vent stale air outside.
Aging-In-Place is a term used to describe a person living in the residence of their choice, for as long as they are able, as they age. This includes being able to have any services (or other support) they might need over time as their needs change.
"Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach" provides comprehensive best practice guidance on how to design, build and manage buildings and spaces so that they can be readily accessed and used by everyone, regardless of age, size ability or disability.
The flash-and-batt method of insulation combines a layer of spray foam insulation with conventional fiberglass batts. The installation method can be used for floors, walls, or roof assemblies.
Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation has several desirable characteristics. It’s an excellent air barrier, an excellent vapor retarder, and it has a high insulating value per inch (about R-6).
Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons per minute.
A foundation wrap is a highly effective waterproofing protection system based on a uniquely formed air-gap membrane. The main component is the plastic (HDPE) membrane, formed in a dimple pattern to create an air-gap at the foundation wall. This unique design allows any water getting past the dimpled plastic sheet to fall freely to the footer drain. This membrane is remarkably impermeable to water and water vapor and impervious to acids and other agents.
Capillary action refers to the ability of water to travel up against the pull of gravity through a porous material. One common example of this action is water “wicking” up through a paper towel, following the direction of the paper fibers. Although not as serious as bulk water movement, capillary forces are both powerful and rather secretive, since they often work in the dark of a crawlspace, causing significant damage to a building without the occupant’s knowledge.
Capillary action can best be controlled by providing a capillary “break” such as plastic, metal, damp-proofing compound or another impermeable material, or by leaving air spaces that are too large for capillarity to occur.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the stable temperature underground using a piping system, commonly referred to as a “loop.” Water circulates in the loop to exchange heat between your home, the ground source heat pump, and the earth, providing geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water at remarkably high efficiencies. Geothermal does not emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or other greenhouse gases that contribute to air pollution. Heating and cooling bills are reduced by an average of 40% to 70% with Geothermal.
A home energy rating is an analysis of a home’s energy efficiency; as per the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The HERS Index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. Based on the results, an energy-rated home will receive a HERS Index Score. The HERS Index Score can be described as a sort of miles-per-gallon (MPG) sticker for houses, giving prospective buyers and homeowners an insight as to how the home ranks in terms of energy efficiency. In addition to a HERS Index Score, a home energy rating also provides the homeowner with a detailed report regarding energy problems in the house.