Some Principles of Green Architecture

  • Aspects of the Property Consider the topography of the land. Can the house be built to take advantage of natural features? How can it be constructed with minimal harm to the natural habitat? This includes designing the house for the best orientation to the sun, specifically for windows and solar panels, for maximum heat and light.
  • Material Selection There are two facets to selecting green building materials. The first is choosing the best materials, including long-lasting materials that withstand wear and use. Things like hardwood floors or well-built cabinetry that won’t have to be replaced in a few years. Or opt for materials that work harder to protect the home, like cool roof shingles that reflect heat in especially sunny areas. Secondly, source materials as locally as possible to reduce energy usage, carbon emissions, and even packaging that results from shipping.
  • Maximize Space A well thought-out floor plan that doesn’t waste space. An efficient layout is more effectively heated and cooled to save on energy over time. Plus, a right-sized (versus oversized) home saves on building materials and energy upfront. Layouts should also be designed to last to avoid major renovations down the line.
  • Tight Building Envelope A home’s building envelope is a critical part of green architecture. Superior exterior wall systems, efficient windows, and lots of insulation are key. Use triple-pane or double-pane windows, and high solar heat gain glass (or SHGC) on south windows in northern climates.

Ensures the whole house is sealed so that climate control isn’t wasted by air leaking out of or into the home.
Include Green Technology Consider Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, radiant flooring, and geothermal heating and cooling systems when building a home. In many cases, green technology is about prioritizing renewable energy sources and making those resources accessible to the home now or in the future.

You can read the original article at Better Homes and Gardens

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