April 30, 2016
Posted on November 13, 2012
- Design to maximize natural daylight and passive ventilation. Daylight makes a dramatic difference, especially in our climate. In addition to making you feel better, daylight can cut down on electric bills. Well-placed operable windows circulate fresh air throughout your home.
- Choose deconstruction and construction site recycling. The demolition debris from a typical residential kitchen or bathroom remodel equals by weight, four years of curbside recycling from an average household. Deconstruction is the selective hand-disassembly of building structures to maximize salvage for reuse. Minimize the impacts of your project, keep reusable and recyclable materials out of the landfill, and save costs, too.
- Weatherize. Adding insulation and new, energy-efficient windows to an older home not only saves money in fuel costs, it improves comfort all year.
- Buy energy-efficient kitchen appliances, furnaces and water heaters. All appliances with an “Energy Star” rating are a good choice. You can claim tax credits on some appliances.
- Choose water-efficient fixtures. On average, toilet flushing, showers and faucets account for 60% of all indoor water use. Installing efficient toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads can save a typical household up to $200 annually in water and energy bills.
- Use low-VOC paint (50 grams/liter or less VOC content). Insist on solvent free or low-VOC (volatile organic chemicals) paint. Low and no VOCs will make painting a healthier and more enjoyable experience. If oil paints are being used, relocate until you home is free of fumes.
- Choose formaldehyde-free products. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and is commonly found in carpet, cabinetry, insulation and other building products. Consider installing a hard surface floor instead of carpet. If you do install carpeting, install a green rated product.
- Buy used, recycled, certified or regraded wood products. You can purchase used and regraded wood from a ReBuilding Center. Certified wood producrts are cut from sustainably managed forests, and affixed with a seal to help you indentify them.
- Harvest your rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing. A well-designed rainwater harvesting system that capturees rainwater from rooftops for use in irrigation and toilet flushing can reduce annual water consumption by 50%.
- Landscape using native and drought-tolerant plants. Native plants are naturally adapted to our environment, so they require minimal care and watering, they also provide valuable habitat for birds and wildlife.