Location: Must NOT be built on environmentally sensitive sites like prime farmland, wetlands and endangered species habitats, ideally in walking distance to transportation, shopping, groceries, banks, post office, library, etc. (less use of gas)
Size: Larger home=more resources/more $
Smaller home=less resources/less $
Building Design: takes advantage of natural light (less need for artificial lighting), shaded from direct sun
Green Building Materials: non toxic building materials, low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and sealants, use of salvaged and recycled material, use of rapidly renewable resources such as bamboo and FSC (forest Stewardship Council) certified wood.
Windows & Doors: seal their openings tightly to avoid heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
Energy Efficiency: A green home has energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and water-heating systems. Appliances should have ENERGY STAR® ratings.
Renewable Energy: Ideally, the home should generate some of its own energy with technologies like photovoltaic systems or wind energy
Water Efficiency: water-conserving irrigation system and water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures, Rainwater collection and storage system.
Indoor Air Quality: The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system should filter all incoming air and vent stale air outside.
Landscaping: drought-tolerant plants rather than water-guzzling plants, organic garden
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