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Building Green | How Can I Help?

Building Green

Want to cut down on home energy bills?

Home Energy Audit


Look for air leaks around windows, doors, outlets, and junctures of the walls and ceilings. Check insulation levels. Inspect heating and cooling systems. Examine home lighting

Keep a list and prioritize upgrades
A professional auditor has tools such as high-tech fans and infrared cameras for thorough air-tightness and heat-loss analyses. The professional route may cost several hundred dollars, but could identify ways to save big in the long run, paying for itself time and again.

Begin Building Green

For your health, environment, and community. Also its efficient and saves you money.

Daily Life
• Go for the savings. Superior insulation and energy-efficient appliances will significantly cut energy costs throughout the life of your home.

• Conserve resources. Use drought-resistant plants and adequate drainage systems outdoors, and efficient pipe systems and sink and faucet aerators indoors.

• Stay healthy. The air quality inside green homes is often far superior to that of conventional homes. Low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and nontoxic insulation and flooring, for example, can cause fewer allergies, asthma problems, and skin sensitivities.

Planning
• Build for your region. Learn about your environment when designing and planning a green home. For example, light-color exteriors reflect heat from the sun, benefiting homes in warmer regions. Alternately, darker exteriors absorb heat for warmth in cold climates.

• Build to suit your site. Instead of clear-cutting a lot, use existing trees for passive solar heating and cooling. You also can position your house so that low-angled rays from the winter sun will flood south-facing rooms, reducing dependence on expensive sources of energy.

Construction
• Choose materials wisely. Conservationist attitudes and economic efficiency guide green construction. Build with sustainable woods and recycled, reusable, and durable materials.

• Minimize waste. Take advantage of local salvage companies to remove reusable construction waste, and ask your contractor about recycling options.

LEED

 


LEED for Homes is a green home certification system for assuring homes are designed and built to be energy- and resource-efficient and healthy for occupants:

LEED for Homeowners
LEED for Homes FAQs
Home Eligibility
REGREEN is the nation’s first set of resources and tools for green home remodeling projects.

REGREEN PROGRAM
LEED FAQs for Builders/Developers
Why Build Green?
In the United States, buildings account for:
39% of total energy use
12% of the total water consumption
68% of total electricity consumption
38% of the carbon dioxide emissions

The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:

Economic benefits
Reduce operating costs
Create, expand, and shape markets for green product and services
Improve occupant productivity
Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Environmental benefits
Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
Improve air and water quality
Reduce waste streams
Conserve and restore natural resources

Social benefits
Enhance occupant comfort and health
Heighten aesthetic qualities
Minimize strain on local infrastructure
Improve overall quality of life

If you enjoy this Green Yourself idea be sure to check out the full episode about this issue

Season 1 – Ep. 3 De-Constructing Construction

(Green Building)


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