features like comprehensive insulation and "passive solar design," which supplies thermal protection to a home.
When building green, many designers also include a renewable independent energy source to power (or partially power) the home. Renewable energy (such as solar energy) significantly lowers a building's impact on the environment.
General Design. The size, site, and shape of a home have a large effect on its energy efficiency. Simpler shapes (such as a traditional box shape) are often used when building green.
Another common technique used in building green is Optimum Value Engineering, or OVE. This framing method reduces the quantity of wood used to build a home, and it also leaves more room inside the walls for insulation.
Environmentally Friendly Materials. Building green means using non-toxic materials which are recycled or sustainably produced. Any materials used in building green should require less energy to produce and process than conventional materials.
Long-Term Durability. Simply put, quality products last longer, and so need to be replaced less often. Using quality materials reduces landfill waste and reduces the need for producing replacements, which has a significant impact on the environment.
For a full report on green home designs, see www.aia.org/walkthewalk
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