Introduction to green building
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Introduction to Green Building. 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

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What is green building l.jpg
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.

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Green Home Examples


  • LEED for Homes Certified Home

  • NAHB Green Certified Home

  • Home Performance with Energy Star Home

  • Many others

    What makes these green?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Green Certification Programs

  • Many programs certify homes for their greenness in all or some of the above principles, like


    • LEED for HOMES

    • NAHBGreen

    • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

  • They vary based on requirements and verification processes.

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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.