Green Dream Home

"Green design," "sustainable design" or "eco-friendly home design" may be the new buzzwords to describe design methods that are sustainable and lead to less of an impact to the environment, but the foundation of designing green has been around as long as classic architecture.

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Woman painting

Here are a few more ideas when designing your green home.

Use low or zero VOC paint

The source of toxins in paints and finishes is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint. New environmental regulations, and consumer demand, have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes that are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.

Low-flow water devices

Faucets, toilets, showerheads and irrigation devices are available as "low-flow" and conserve the maximum amount of water. With an array of design options, low-flow water features are an integral part of green home design.

LEED

Developed by the USGBC, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system certifying that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve energy savings, water efficiency and indoor environmental quality while reducing CO2 emissions.

LEED for Homes is for anyone planning or looking for a new home, but concerned with long-term energy efficiency, low natural resource consumption and the balance of living space with its surroundings. Contact a LEED for Homes provider (through the USGBC) to register your project.

Heightened environmental awareness has made eco-friendly homes mainstream, shattering the image of a "green home" being a hippie, granola-type structure.

zero energy home

Tour a net zero energy house

David Shepler from IBM Research gives us a tour of his Zero Net Energy House (crib), built by Anthony Aebi of Greenhill Contracting.

More ways to go green in the new year

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Tags: eco design

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