The Top Five Do-It-Now
Make the best use of your site. Consider
developing in brownfields or select a site that minimizes resident's daily commutes. When choosing where your home will sit on the site, follow
low impact development principles to minimize the amount of storm water runoff. When building, specify areas for
tree preservation to minimize the number of trees that are cut down or damaged.
Use resources efficiently. Consider using
panelized walls to reduce wasted lumber. When selecting wood products, look for
certified sustainable or local wood-products. And remember bigger isn't always
better; build appropriately sized houses to limit environmental impacts.
Conserve water. Install
rainwater harvesting systems or use
greywater for irrigation, and be sure to install
laminar or other
low-flow fixtures and fittings. See our
Energy Efficiency Top Five for top energy-saving ideas.
Build for healthy
indoor air quality. Use
mold and moisture-resistant products in kitchens, bathrooms and basements.
Size HVAC equipment and
seal ducts properly. Use
low-VOC paints, carpeting and flooring.
Minimize the damage of demolition by
deconstructing the home and salvaging materials. When buying construction materials, choose products that can be
recycled or donated when
you no longer need them. Follow guidelines for
hazardous material disposal.
Landscape to enhance the home's comfort. Strategically placed plants and shrubs can lower heating bills by
up to 30%. Select
native greenery to reduce watering.
When remodeling, install recycled-content, reused, or sustainable materials such as eco-friendly
recycled content carpet,
Forest Stewardship Council-certified cabinets, and
plastic composite lumber.
ENERGY STAR qualified models when replacing appliances.
See our Energy Efficiency Top Five for more energy-saving ideas.
air leaks around windows and doors to lower energy bills and improve comfort.
Embrace recycling. Design a central
recycling center in the kitchen or pantry. During renovations, recycle or donate any extra materials or waste you may have created.
Content updated on 2/13/2008