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Green Building Tips

Whether you are constructing your dream home or renovating an existing one, it is wise to scope out your options. With so many factors to consider, researching can be extensive, so the following is aimed to stimulate your vision with tips to start you off.

Size Matters
In this case, less is more. Smaller houses are not only more efficient, they often cut a more interesting figure than larger houses. Plus, tall and slender buildings are better at utilizing space, and the additional nooks and crannies give a room its dimension, so you don’t feel like you are living in a shoebox.

Perfect Placement
When building from scratch, take advantage of the climate you live in. Doing so will utilize your region’s climate and weather patterns. This keeps your house and shape while lowering your cooling and heating bills. Houses built in a cold climate would benefit from direct sun exposure, while houses built in a warm climate should have some shade. You can also plant tree nearby to keep existing houses from getting too hot.

The Right Shade
Colors offer more than insight to the owner’s personality. When choosing colors for your house, keep the climate in mind. If you live in a warmer region, it is best to paint your house in light shades. Lighter shades reflect 90 percent more sunlight and keep it cooler indoors. For chillier climates, paint your house in darker shades as they absorb more sunlight and keep the inside warmer. Paint your house using water-based paints rather than oil-based, as they contain less hazardous toxins, dry faster, and eliminate the need for chemical solvent aided clean-up.

Non-Materialistic Materials
If you can, get materials from yard sales or antique and vintage stores. Many new materials release volatile organic compounds when you use them or bring them into an existing structure. This process is called “Off-Gassing” and can last several months.  If buying new materials look for those that are low-impact and release less toxins.

Resource:
It’s Easy Being Green, Crissy Trask, Copyright 2006

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