Alex Wilson
New Society Publishing | 2006 | PDF | 256 pages | 4 Mb

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More and more homeowners today want houses that are healthy to live in and cause minimal damage to the environment. That's what green building is all about.

Your Green Home is written for homeowners planning a new home-whether you are working with an architect or builder, or serving as your own general contractor. Intended to improve the overall environmental performance of new houses being built, the book sets out to answer some of the big-picture questions relating to having a home designed and built-and getting what you want.

Your Green Home covers:

Home location and its relationship to the community
Site design
Construction systems
Building design to optimize energy performance
Renewable energy systems
Material selection
Indoor environmental quality
Water efficiency
Material selection

Written by the founder of Building Green-North America's premier green building authority-this book will prove useful not only to future homeowners, but also to designers and builders seeking to meet this demand. Building professionals well-versed in green building may find this a useful book to give to potential clients to convey the scope and principles of green building.

About the Author

Alex Wilson is president of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News, the oldest and most respected publication serving North America's green building industry. A green building expert since the 1970s, he has authored countless articles on the topic and several books, including Green Building Products, the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, and Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate.


So YouWant to Build a Green Home 1
What is Green Building? 1
A Short History of Green Building 3
How to Use this Book 7

Finding the Help You Need 9
Hiring a Designer 10
Hiring a Builder 12
Serving as Your Own General Contractor 14
Building Your Own House 15

Where to Build 17
Building a New House vs. Fixing Up an Old One 17
Your Home as Part of the Community 18
Building on Previously Disturbed Land and Urban Infill Lots 20
Evaluating the Greenfield Sites 21
Regulatory Constraints 25
Siting Your Home 26

General Issues in House Design 29
Is a Stand-Alone, Single-Family HouseWhat You ReallyWant? 29
How Big a House do You Need? 31
Design for Durability 32
Design for Accessibility and Adaptability 33
House Configuration 34
What About an Attached Garage? 36
Other Design Issues 37

The Structural Building System 39
ConventionalWood Framing (2x4, 2x6) 39
ConventionalWood Framing with Rigid Foam Insulation 41
High-TechWood Framing Systems 42
Timber Framing 43
Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) Construction 45
Steel Framing 47
Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) Construction 49
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) 49
Other Masonry Block Building Systems 49
Strawbale Construction 51
Deciding Among the Building System Alternatives 53

Energy Efficient Design 57
Why Reduce Use of Fossil Fuels? 57
Integration is Key 59
A Superinsulated, Airtight Envelope 60
SelectingWindows 69
Selecting Heating Equipment 72
Cooling Your House 79
Water Heating 82
Home Appliances 85
Lighting 87
Energy Improvements on the Horizon 88

Making Use of Renewable Energy 91
Passive Solar Heating 91
Natural Daylighting 95
SolarWater Heating 98
Photovoltaics 100
Wind Power and Green Electricity 103
Wood Energy 103
Zero-Energy and Carbon-Neutral Homes 106
Final Thoughts on Energy 106

Materials and Products for Green Building 107
Why Choose Green Building Products? 108
Use Less Material 109
Consider the Entire Life Cycle 109
Selecting Building Products 111
Getting the Information You Need for Material Selection 122

Creating a Safe Indoor Environment 125
Eliminate, Isolate, and Ventilate 125
House Design for a Healthy Indoor Environment 127
Choosing Products and Materials for the House 133
Ventilation Strategies 138
Keeping a Healthy House Healthy 144

Respecting and ConservingWater 147
Water Conservation in the Home 148
Water Conservation Outdoors 153
Dealing withWastewater 155
Graywater Separation and Treatment 159
Rainwater Harvesting 161
Managing Stormwater 163

Dealing with ConstructionWaste 165
Reducing Job-SiteWaste 165
Reusing Job-SiteWaste 167
Recycling Job-SiteWaste 169
Proper Disposal ofWastes that Cannot Be Recycled 171

Landscaping and Plantings 173
Protection of Soils and Vegetation During SiteWork 173
Landscaping for Energy Conservation 174
Landscaping for Biodiversity 177
Water-Conserving Landscaping 181
Edible Landscaping 182

Costs of Building Green 185
Controlling Construction Costs 185
Construction Costs vs.Operating Costs 187
The Cost of Good Design 190
Paying for a Green Home 190
BenefittingWhen You Sell a Green Home 193

Living in Your Green Home 195
Understanding How Your HouseWorks—The Homeowner’s Manual 195
Energy Efficiency 196
Water Efficiency 199
Maintenance 200
Selection of Furnishings 201
Cleaning Products 203
DealingWithWaste 203
Composting OrganicWaste 205
Involve theWhole Family inWaste Management 207
Transportation 207
Enjoy the Outdoors 208


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