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Green Building 129 Ideabooks

How can you tell the difference between houses that look environmentally friendly and ones that actually are? Home certifications can help. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is just one certification that helps all sectors of the home-building industry...
The Passive House: What It Is and Why You Should Care
The term “passive“ is getting thrown around almost as frequently as the word “green” these days. But what does it actually mean? And how does the all-encompassing adjective differ from the measurable standards of the capitalized Passive House? I’ve...
5 Common-Sense Ways to Get a Greener Home Design
Going green with your home design project is a decision made by degrees, with layers of opportunities to choose materials and methods that will yield improved energy efficiency, sustainability and functionality. It's a commitment with a potentially great...
Off the Grid: Ready to Pull the Plug on City Power?
“Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have. … Shall we always study to obtain more, and not...
Why You Might Want to Build a House of Straw
I’ve often advised that to have a truly sustainable home, one must really understand the details of how a house works. As our knowledge about homes increases, so does our desire to get involved with the design and construction process. That’s where...
Grow a Beautiful Garden With Ecofriendly Greywater
You’re probably irrigating your yard with drinking water, since the same water that comes out of your kitchen faucet also comes out of your hose bibs. But do your plants need drinking water? It turns out that most plants are perfectly happy with gently...
How to Harvest Rainwater for Your Garden
It might be hard to believe, but one-third of all residential water use in the United States is for irrigating gardens. According to Sustainable Sites, an American certification program dedicated to...
Upgrade Your Windows for Beauty, Comfort and Big Energy Savings
As long as your windows provide natural light and offer some semblance of a view, why give them a second thought, right? Wrong. For one, your windows directly contribute to the overall comfort inside your home. If the words “stuffy” or...
How to Add a Solar Water Heater
As people increasingly build better houses, with more efficient envelopes and lower energy consumption and waste, a greater percentage of the energy we do use is going toward heating water. In fact, in a Passive...
Let’s Clear Up Some Confusion About Solar Panels
I’ve recently noticed some confusion over the term “solar panel.” Before we get into a more advanced look at specific technologies for heating water and providing electricity to a home with solar energy, it’s necessary to understand the basics...
How to Add a Radiant Heat System
So you’re thinking about adding radiant heating or cooling to your house. Unless you have particular renovation constraints, you’re most likely going to be looking at a hydronic system — one based on water. Here are some tips to help you get started...
Is Radiant Heating or Cooling Right for You?
With a radiant heating or cooling system, the goal is to make the temperature of a room more comfortable by changing the temperature of an entire surface. Most of the time we think of radiant heating systems, we think of them for floors, sometimes called...
How to Build a Greener Driveway
The next time you hear the rhythm of rain as it drums overhead, grab your boots and venture outside to follow the rainwater’s journey. After it hits your roof, where does it go to next? If your home is like most, the water...
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