What Does Living Green Really Mean?

 In Blog

Is it using common sense solutions or employing cutting edge technologies? We hear the word “green” frequently these days, and it means something different to everyone. Green means both — use common sense and employ new technology — renew or re-use of older things and make the new better. But what is lost in the green dialogue is something much simpler. The first rule of living green starts with one simple step: less is more. Use less water, less electricity, less gasoline, less paper, less space…learn to live with less. If everyone starts today with this one simple step, a huge shift in consumption of the world’s resources will be made. But, when you are ready to undertake the design of a new home with an architect or remodel the one that you currently live in to make it more ‘green,’ here are a few things to keep in mind:

Key Features of Green Residential Design

* Recycle existing homes and useable materials, when possible
* Build what you need, a house that is too big will cost more to run
* Develop infill locations when possible
* Employ sustainable building practices and materials where possible
* Use passive solar orientation to reduce heating and cooling loads
* Use spray foam insulation which works better than any other insulation
* Exterior Ventilation – fully passive systems require no energy
* Combine incandescent with fluorescent and LED lighting
* Install low-E windows, which allow natural light to enter, but block UV & infrared rays
* Install low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water
* Install appliances and water heater(s) that use reduced energy
* Use low VOC materials and sealants for better indoor air quality
* Upgrade air sealing, insulation and HVAC
* Realize in your design that porches and overhangs reduce heating/cooling bills
* Use rain collection systems or devices
* Plant natural, heat and drought tolerant, or landscape materials indigenous to your climate zone
*Adopt a regular schedule for maintenance of all energy-saving devices and appliances

Texas Residential Architect, Interior DesignerTexas Residential Architect, Interior Designer