What is green building? Green building is the process of designing and building a home that minimizes its impact on the environment both during construction and over its useful life.
Green Home Examples • ENERGY STAR Home • LEED for Homes Certified Home • NAHB Green Certified Home • Home Performance with Energy Star Home • Many others What makes these green?
Key Aspects • Team Approach (Work with Other Trades) • Site Selection, Lot Planning, and Preparation • House Design and Planning • Energy Efficiency • Durability and Water Management • Water Conservation • Green Product Selection • Indoor Air Quality • Reduce Material Use and Recycle Waste • Homeowner Education and Reference Manual
1. Team Approach • Teamwork is necessary. • Green building requires overcoming challenges in overlaps of work, like between plumbers and carpenters • There will be a learning curve that you go up quickly with just a few projects.
2. Site Selection, Lot Planning, and Preparation • Though not relevant to construction trades, all should know about basics in site and lot selections. • Sites that decrease environmental impact (like not building on wetlands) are preferred. • Sites that do not increase urban sprawl are better.
3. House Design and Planning • Homes with smaller footprints generally use less materials and later, less energy. • Constructing efficient homes reduces waste. • Good communication and information between all of the new construction trades overcomes design problems during construction.
4. Energy Efficiency • A green home is well-framed and insulated and as airtight as possible. • The windows and doors are selected for energy-efficient glazing and air seals. • Energy-efficient HVAC, lighting and appliances are selected. • So, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians, and FM technicians are especially important.
5. Best Construction Practices (Weather Resistance, Durability, & Water Management) • Many good practices are green, but especially ones that create quality construction. • Durability and water management issues are focuses of trades that deal with structural materials (like carpenters and masons) as well as those trades that deal with the long-term performance (FM technicians).
6. Water Conservation • Green homes require less water. • The plumbing system is designed with water efficient fixtures. • Native drought-resistant plants and reducing lawn area reduce irrigation. • Innovative systems such as rainwater collection and gray water reuse reduce external water need. • Plumbers and FM technicians play key roles.
7. Green Product Selection • Several qualities of materials and products determine whether they are green, like: • Did it come from recycled materials? • Can the material be recycled in the future? • Was it made locally? • Did it use low energy and water to manufacture it? • While all trades can make green selections, carpenters play a special role because of the amount of materials and products they use.
8. Indoor Air Quality • Several things can affect indoor air: • Mold and moisture • Radon • Lead and other hazards • Formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) • Ventilation • The team of HVAC technician, carpenter, and FM technician play important roles.
9. Reduce Material Use and Manage Waste • Materials can be planned, estimated, ordered and installed accurately to reduce total amount of use and waste. • When leftover, materials should be recycled or reused. • The two structural trades (masons and carpenters) that use the largest quantity of materials play key roles.
10. Homeowner Education and Training Manual • A green home won’t perform well if it is not operated and maintained as designed. • All trades must provide information, but the FM technicians play a key role in making sure that occupants understand it and follow through with it.
Current State of Green Building • Many long-proven technologies are ready to be incorporated. • Many new materials and products are still coming out. • A majority of builders are familiar with green building, and a good portion are already using them.
Green Certification Programs • Many programs certify homes for their greenness in all or some of the above principles, like • ENERGY STAR for HOMES • LEED for HOMES • NAHBGreen • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR • They vary based on requirements and verification processes.
Future of Green Building • New materials and technologies are coming out every year. • Green certification programs change requirements on a regular basis, just like building codes. • A majority of builders are expected to be using green building techniques within 5 years.