Green Home Building – what is it?

“Green” is one of those words that are tossed around all over the place. Here are some concrete green things for a home renovation:

1. Find a contractor who uses efficient framing techniques to save on wood while still keeping the structure strong.

2. Find a salvage yard that buys and sells reusable materials, then buy and sell with them as you do your renovation. Sell them the stuff you take out and buy from them the stuff you put back in.

3. Install energy efficient windows (go triple pane if you can), doors, and appliances.

4. Build with solar gain in mind: get more sun in the winter and less sun in the summer by using trees (bare in the winter and leafy in the summer) and awnings; Use more windows to the south and less on the north.

5. Use smart technology in the materials: Optimum Value Engineering techniques to reduce the amount of wood and other materials, low VOC’s in paints, cabinets, etc, non-formaldehyde in the materials and so on….

6. Economize: buy local, buy less, build only as much as you need. Stay wholesome and don’t try to keep up with the Joneses: build what you need practically, not what you think will impress people.

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