Click on the green circles for tips on how you can turn your house
into a "GREENER" house.
COMPONENTS OF A
Green homes are designed and constructed to consume less energy
and water, are durable and easier to maintain, healthier, and use
resource efficient materials.
Effective site planning and management techniques should be used to
reduce impacts to surrounding natural resources, and optimize
building energy performance. These techniques include siting
development in areas away from sensitive resources, limiting
disturbance around development, managing storm water and erosion. A
building’s energy performance can be optimized through proper
By insulating the foundation and incorporating flyash in the
concrete, the homeowner can have a more durable, more energy
Building with certified sustainably harvested lumber, engineered
wood products, and recycled or rapidly renewable wood products helps
preserve our old-growth forests, and reduces material use and
Using decking and products made with recycled content or
renewable materials such as fiber cement helps conserve resources,
is more durable, pest resistant , water resistant, and will reduce
long-term maintenance costs.
The use of water and energy efficient fixtures, and appliances
such as energy star dishwashers, refrigerators, and clothes washers
equipped with water conservation features will reduce water and
energy use and lower monthly bills.
The use of water and energy efficient fixtures including,
faucets, toilets, light bulbs, ceiling fans and landscape irrigation
conserve water, electricity, and also lower utility bills.
INSULATIONS AND WINDOWS
The use of energy-efficient windows and advanced insulation
techniques will lower utility costs and create a more comfortable
HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC)
A well designed and installed efficient natural heating, and
cooling system will save money, increase comfort, improve indoor air
quality, and create a healthier environment.
RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ROOFING
The use of solar water heating, photovoltaic (pv) energy systems
and a radiant barrier reduces utility costs. Durable roofing
materials reduces waste to landfills and lowers long-term
NATURAL HEATING, COOLING AND LIGHTING
Use of passive heating, cooling and lighting systems create more
comfortable spaces that also minimize energy usage. Properly placed
awnings, overhangs, and deciduous shade trees help add value to your
natural heating and cooling system by shielding summer sun and
allowing winter sun.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND FINISH
Using low or no voc (volatile organic compounds) paints,
sealants adhesives, finishes (such as carpet) and wood products
helps improve indoor air quality and reduces the exposure of
builders and occupants to harmful chemicals that are continuously
released long after installation.
There are many attractive, cost-effective durable flooring
options such as natural linoleum, bamboo, FSC-certified or reclaimed
wood, and recycled content that are available from many
manufacturers. These materials have less impact on the environment,
they lasts longer, and require less frequent replacements.
LOW-PRESSURE TOILETS, SHOWER HEADS AND
Consider the use of low flush toilets and low flow plumbing fixtures
that will reduce your water usage and save you money in the process.
Consider the following:
A conventional toilet uses about
3.5 gallons of water compared to 1.6 gallons from a low flush
toilet Click here for rebate
A conventional shower head uses
about 4-5 gallons of water per minute compared to a low flow
shower head that uses only 2.5 gallons per minute.
Use of a low flow faucet aerator
will cut the water usage of faucets by as much as 40%, or from
about 4 gallons per minute to 2.5 gallons per minute.
House Wrap is a durable Polyethylene protective barrier placed
around the house before the exterior finish is applied that helps
protect the house from air and moisture infultration while still
allowing the house to “breath”. A good house wrap material is also
one that protects against heat gain and loss. A home constructed
with house wrap will result in superior comfort and energy
efficiency while protected against drafts, rot and mold.
40 YEAR COMPOSITION ROOFING
Consider use of fiber-cement or metal composition roofing that
is made up of either steel and aluminum or recycled wood fiber which
both contain high percentages of recycled content. These materials
are lightweight and durable, and are easily recycled. Fiber-cement
or metal composition roofing can also provide better heat
reflectance (reducing the energy needs for hot summers).
Thermal radiant barriers are materials that are installed in
buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss thereby
reducing energy needs. The benefit of attic radiant barriers is
primarily in reducing air-conditioning cooling loads in the summer
and heating needs in the winter. Radiant barriers usually consist of
a thin sheet or coating of a highly reflective material, usually
aluminum, applied to one or both sides of a number of substrate
RECYCLED-CONTENT INSULATION THAT HAS LOW
Well insulated homes are warmer in the winter, cooler in the
summer, and energy bills will be lower throughout the year.
Conventional fiberglass insulation contains particles that can
become airborne and irritate the respiratory system. Additionally,
fiberglass typically contains formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Consider
the use of the following recycled-content alternatives instead of
conventional fiberglass insulation:
insulation offers the same insulating properties as conventional
fiberglass insulation but without the formaldehyde.
Spray-foam insulation has
excellent insulating qualities and seals tightly around pipes
Cotton insulation is made from
renewable plant-based material and contains up to 70% recycled
materials, such as denim, and is treated to resist pests and
Cellulose insulation is primarily
made with post-consumer recycled newspaper requiring 30 times
less energy to make than fiberglass or mineral wool insulation
Click here for single family rebate information
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multi-family rebate information
DOUBLE PANE LOW E WINDOW
Installation of ENERGY STAR®- qualified windows, doors and
skylights with proper attention to sealing around the openings can
greatly the reduce air leakage that causes rooms to gain or lose
excessive heat. Shading windows with trees or vine covered trellises
can also further reduce heat gain, especially in the summer. Things
to look for when buying doors, windows or skylights:
A U-value less than or equal to
Air leakage rating of less than or
equal to .06 cfm/ft
Solar heat gain coefficient less
Vinyl or Wood Frames that have
integral insulation with a high R-value
High quality, durable
COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS
ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs use about
75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up
to 10 times longer. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs produce about 75
percent less heat, are safer to operate and also help reduce
energy costs associated with home cooling.
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FIBER CEMENT SIDING
Fiber cement siding is a recyclable composite material made of
sand, cement, cellulose fibers, and other additives. In appearance
fiber cement siding most often consists of overlapping horizontal
boards, imitating wood cladding, clapboard and imitation shingles.
Fiber cement siding is durable and fire-resistant.
90% AFUE FURNACE
The efficiency of new furnaces is measured by the annual fuel
utilization efficiency (AFUE), a measure of efficiency. Simply put,
a 90% AFUE furnace uses 90% of the gas efficiently and wastes about
10% as opposed to older furnaces which operate at about a 65-70%
AFUE. By optimizing the performance of heating equipment, you use
resources more efficiently, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
promote better air quality while saving money on your natural gas
Natural linoleum (i.e. marmoleum) is a durable flooring product
made from all natural products such as linseed oil (pressed from the
flax plant), pine resin, wood flour, cork powder, limestone dust,
natural pigments, and jute. Natural linoleum can be used anywhere a
resilient floor is needed, as well as for countertop and desktop
applications. Natural linoleum is renewable, biodegradable, durable
and self-healing, and is manufactured using no VOCs or toxic materials.
It is easy to install with solvent-free adhesives.
ENGINEERED WOOD I-JOIST
Engineered wood, includes a range of derivative wood products
which are manufactured by binding together wood strands, fibers, or
veneers with adhesives to form composite materials. These products
are engineered to precise design specifications which are
engineer-tested to meet national or international standards. Wood
I-Joists are engineered to be straighter, stiffer, stronger and more
consistent in performance than solid sawn lumber. Engineered Wood
I-Joists provide the owner with a superior floor. Engineered wood
products use the wood resources more efficiently and therefore
promote natural-resource conservation.
WHOLE HOUSE FAN
Consider using a whole house fan to naturally cool your home. A
whole-house fan is a type of fan installed in a building's ceiling
that extracts hot air out of the living portions of a building and
into the attic. The hot air in the attic is forced outside through
attic vents. Cooler outside air is then drawn inside through open
windows and doors to replace the hot air drawn out of the house by
the fan. A whole-house fan can significantly lower the temperature
in a building very quickly, and is much less expensive to operate
than air conditioning. Click
here for single family rebate information
Click here for multi-family rebate
FSC CERTIFIED WOOD
FSC Certified wood is wood that has received a stamp of approval
from the Forest Stewardship Council. Purchasing FSC certified wood guarantees that the wood product
is harvested from a company that practices sustainable forest
management. Use of FSC certified wood helps to preserve our
ORIENTED STRAND BOARD IN SUBFLOOR
Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is an engineered structural wood
panel primarily used for floors, walls and roofs. OSB is
manufactured from sustainable, fast-growing trees such as aspen
poplar, southern yellow pine, mixed hardwoods, and other suitable
species and the manufacturing process involves little material
waste. OSB provides a strong, durable option for floor, wall and
roof panel applications.
LOW/NO VOC PAINT
Many Paints, Adhesives, Sealants, building finishes such as wood
finishes, composite wood and carpeting emit harmful chemicals into
the air long after they have been installed, exposing building
construction workers and occupants to these toxic materials. Use of
low VOC construction materials will create a healthier indoor
environment. Examples of low VOC materials include carpets that have
been off-gassed at the manufacturing facility or composite wood that
uses no urea formaldehyde.
SOLVENT-FREE, LOW TOXICITY WOOD FINISH
Typical wood finishes use a variety of toxic chemicals and
solvents that help the finish either penetrate into the wood or coat
the wood surface. The chemicals in the typical wood finishes are
highly volatile and toxic. Consider the use of finishes that are
solvent-free, and low in toxicity such as water based products.
Concrete is typically used for house footings and foundations
and is often used for various sitework and hardscape applications.
Consider using concrete that incorporates flyash. Flyash is a
byproduct of coal burning (usually from power plants), and when used
in concrete, it makes concrete stronger, more durable, more workable
and more resistant to chemical attack. Use of flyash in concrete
applications also benefits the environment by diverting it from
filling up of our landfills where it’s normally deposited.
When considering installation of wood flooring, use wood
flooring made from a rapidly renewable source such as bamboo, cork
or eucalyptus. Use of rapidly renewable resources limits destruction
of our old-growth forests.
Landscape watering accounts for approximately 70% of the water usage
in our region.
Consider the use of rotating nozzles, sub-grade dripper systems and
the use of moisture sensors to increase the efficiency of landscape
watering. These technologies will reduce water usage by preventing
overwatering, watering more efficiently and reducing unnecessary
evaporation. Click here for single
family rebate information
To help with your long term energy needs, consider taking
advantage of rebate and tax credit programs and install solar panels
on your property. Solar panels convert sunlight to electricity that
feeds directly into the power grid. Local utility companies offer
credits for the electricity you produce and promote net energy
metering programs that measure how much “net” energy you use and
bill you accordingly. Installing solar panels do require up front
expenditures, but pay you back in the long run.
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