Top 10 Green Building Tips

9/2/10 by Gordo

Photo courtesy Brad Box via Flickr

Are you planning to build a new home?  If you want to live in a beautiful abode without feeling guilty about enlarging your ecological footprint, incorporate green building  techniques into your   homebuilding plan.  Green building techniques consider the energy usage, site, materials, and maintenance of a home to ensure that it has a lesser impact on the environment. Not only are green homes better for the earth, they’re also safer, more comfortable, and less costly to maintain.  Here are 10 green building tips that will enable you to but a beautiful house that better connects you with the natural landscape and your community.

1. Build a home with passive solar design

Green building that revolves around passive solar design uses building orientation, stone floors, window replacements, and other techniques to control solar energy.

2. Use low-VOC and anti-microbial paints and sealants

These paints and sealants are better for the environment because they don’t contain volatile organic compounds, which release chemicals and affect the quality of the air you breathe.

3. Use a rainwater catchment system

A rainwater catchment system is fundamental to green building because it enables you to catch and store the rainwater that falls on your roof for future use.

4. Consider alternative building materials

Alternative building materials like straw bale and rammed earth are better for the planet because they don’t need to be manufactured.  Use local materials when possible, so a significant amount of fossil fuels don’t need to be used to transport them.

5. Build a home in a convenient location

A fundamental belief in green building is that a home should be built in a convenient location, near all the daily services you need, so you don’t have to drive long distances to run errands.  This also makes it easier to cultivate a stronger sense of community where you live.

6. Build your home near green spaces

Green spaces and parks should be readily accessible from your home so you can enjoy nature’s wonders without straying far from your residence.  Furthermore, when you live in an area with many parks, trails, and open spaces, you’ll have more opportunities to meet and interact with your neighbors.

7. Use native landscaping

Protect the building site as much as possible by ensuring that native plants, grasses, and trees remain a part of the landscape.  Doing so will also lessen the need for irrigation and make the land more resistant to drought.

8. Create a space for growing your own food

An essential component of green building is leaving enough space to grow your own food, such as herbs and vegetables, so you rely less on grocery store foods that are transported from faraway places and cultivate a deeper connection with the planet.

9. Plant shade trees

In green building, planting large canopy trees around a home is recommended because they provide plenty of shade and reduce heat buildup.

10. Use windows with high performance glass

Windows with high performance glass reduce the amount of glare, heat gain, and air leakage, helping you save on energy costs in the long run.

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One Response to “Top 10 Green Building Tips”

  1. joseph
    September 20th, 2010

    Good point. I took the time to research green building and have made plans to tear down my house and build from recycled materials only. I think it’s going to be difficult to get the plans past the city but will certainly be worth it when I eventually sell the house.

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