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Building a green home is easier than ever with these ecofriendly materials and products.
1. Avoid west-facing construction – This minimizes sun exposure and helps keep the home cool
2. Use structural insulated panels (SIPS) for construction – these are efficient, lightweight and structurally sound.
3. Select environmentally friendly materials – use low-VOC or no-VOC stains and varnishes
4. Avoid cabinetry and fixtures containing chemicals – look for cabinetry and fixtures with no formaldehydye, heavy metals and dyes.
5. Insulate the home properly – this reduces energy consumption in all weather.
6. Use ENERGY STAR windows and appliances – Low energy consumption refrigerators, clothes dryers, hot water heaters, etc. You can also install low water consumption toilets, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and showers.
7. Think green HVAC – Get a geothermal heat pump, radian floor heating or ENERGY STAR HVAC system.
8. Protect the property – Make sure the construction isn’t obtrusive to wetlanks, protected wildlife or vegetation.
9. Optimize for solar power – install solar panels on the roof.
10. Ventilate the attic – this lowers cooling costs by preventing heat build up.
11. Use ecofriendly lighting – optimize sunlight with lots of windows and supplement with LEED-certified light fixtures.
12. Install a cistern – collect rainwater for gray water uses, such as toilets and sprinkler systems.
13. Choose indigenous landscaping – local plants are better for the environment than exotics.