The US Is Making the Buildings Green With Plants

As early as 1998, some volunteers in the America have set up the committee of “nice and cool roofs” to advocate people to paint the roofs in the white color so as to enhance the reflection of the buildings to the sunlight and decrease the indoor temperature. This behavior can bring various benefits to people. For example, it can effectively save the energy, resist the global warming, decrease the urban heat land effect and improve the living standards.

Recently, a volunteer of the committee has made an experiment to test the temperature of a grey roof and a white roof. The result has shown that the temperature of the grey roof is 61.6 degrees centigrade and the temperature of the white roof is 37 degrees centigrade at 11:00 in the morning. It is said that if the plan of “nice and cool roof” is recommended all over the country, the emission of 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide can be decreased. The Department of Energy in America has fully advocated the plan. The ordinary citizens and enterprises can get drawback when they buy the materials.

What’s more, the Department of Energy even advocates people to make all the buildings green with plants. The website of the government even teaches people how to make the different parts of the house green. For example, the solar panels can be installed on the roofs and energy-saving lamps can be used inside the house. At the same time, California even set up a series of strict standards to save energy in the State so as to realize a “green California”, which is called the plan of “green California”.

The plan regulates that the buildings of newly built hospitals, schools and houses must make full use of water-saving pipes and the decorative materials containing low content of formaldehyde. At the same time, the coefficient of recovery of the wastes must reach as high as 50%, and the water consumption inside the houses should be saved by 20%. In fact, California has always done quite well in developing energy-saving buildings. For example, the famous science and technology museum is a good model of green buildings. The curtain wall made of glass can fully make use of natural sunlight so as to decrease the energy consumption caused by the electrical lighting. The experts agree that the plan of “green California” can further save energy, improve the indoor air and create a number of new jobs for people.

Green Architecture – Both Beautiful and Smart

An interesting title appeared recently in a reputable newspaper. The title was ‘Beautiful and Smart,” an intriguing and confusing title choice considering the article appeared in the real estate section of the newspaper. The article described a green architectural house that was both aesthetically beautiful and eco ‘smart.’

Although the two concepts used to exist in paradox, over the past ten years there has been a strong movement towards intertwining the two. Most people assume that they must make a choice between building either beautiful or green. This is no longer the case. As the construction and components of green architecture become more sophisticated and advanced, home builders will no longer have to decide between their sense of civic responsibility to be green and the fantasy picture of their home.

While eco friendly architecture used to be too complicated and expensive for the masses, recent developments have occurred that are paving the way for its conversion to mainstream. Construction stores now have sections dedicated to eco-friendly products. Tools and materials used in green architecture now have labels detailing if they are environmentally friendly.

Home and Garden Television hosts segments dedicated exclusively to green architecture and shows their hosts using green products in other segments. There are also a plethora of websites now offering tips and ideas on how to incorporate green house plans at a minimum cost including offering free home plans and coupons for green products.

It is also important to understand that green architecture is not just an approach to the structure of any individual house. Green architecture also refers to the relationship a how shares with its given environment and the topography of the land surrounding it.

For example, if a house is built in a hot and humid city, an architect will likely try to minimize the amount of windows in the house to avoid the wasted energy resulting from air conditioning. Solar panels are integrated into houses where sun shines the majority of the year.

Eco Green House Cleaning

A new phrase in business circles has been introduced – eco green. But just what does “eco green” mean? Let’s investigate the root meaning of this phrase, it’s terms, and how it relates to the house cleaning industry in Sacramento.

According to WikiAnswers.com, the term “eco” is described as being derived a Greek word meaning home, as in ecology (knowing the home) and economy (running the home). Nowadays, this tern has become synonymous with the term “friendly towards the environment.” While this is a loose interpretation of the root meaning, it can be easily related to our perception of the term “environment” meaning “our home,” whether as it relates to the “Mother Earth” as our home, or more specifically as our living residences or homes as well.

Green, on the other hand, is derived of an Old English word grene and is closely related to the Old English verb “growan”. In recent years, “green” has taken on the reputation as meaning “good, in relationship with the environment,” thus the phrase “eco green” can be interpreted to mean “good for the home” and therefore an excellent choice in selecting a house cleaning service.

Old style cleaning products commonly contained lye, bleach or sodium hypochlorite, ammonia, ethylene glycol butyl ether or EGBE, phosphates, petrochemicals, and more. Many of these ingredients are not only a potential health hazard by themselves, but can become even more dangerous when accidentally mixed. Many services in the commercial cleaning industry are still using these dangerous chemicals.

Cleaning businesses that are “eco green” are said to be at one with the environment (inside your home or business as well as outside), as determined by Green Seal, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting, product certification, and public education. These businesses have chosen to use these products for the benefit of the environment, and for the health and safety of their customers and their staff members.

For a house cleaning service in Sacramento or commercial cleaning in Sacramento that is truly “eco green,” look for ones that only use products that are Green Seal certified.

Does Using Green Building Materials Increase the Value of Your Home?

With many ways to make a house eco-friendlier or greener, a lot of potential home buyers are asking whether the use of green building materials can actually increase the value of a home. This article attempts to answer the question by giving you various benefits of using such kind of materials in building a house.

Health benefits

About 95% of our times are spent inside the house which means that our indoors should be safer than the setting offered by the outdoors. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be largely present inside the house because of the types of paint used to splash color on surfaces. With the use of zero-VOC paints, you are actually sparing your family from a lot of respiratory problems.

Energy conservation benefits

The usual problem of many families lies in how they can make both ends meet while still allotting fragment of income to savings. This cannot be done properly when utility bills are eating up huge amounts. Save up on your power bill by choosing a house that is more energy efficient. New construction homes are available with pre-installed lighting fixtures that are certified power-savers. The design of windows also allows natural light to have better passage and illuminate the indoor spaces more naturally. Pre-installed solar panels also award more savings because the government gives rebates to home owners because they contribute to the energy conservation efforts.

Environmental impact
True to its essence, the use of green building materials increases the home value while reducing the carbon footprint of a specific property. The use of recycled construction materials such as floor tiles and wall panels lessen the use of raw materials in their manufacture. This means more trees and other natural resources are protected from depletion.

Increased home value
Summing up the health, conservation, and environmental impact benefits of using green building materials give a specific property an upgraded selling value. Because a lot of home buyers are looking for readily available green homes, their sales have become faster to as much as 15%. This means that the eco-friendlier a house is, the shorter it can stay on the selling market shall the owner decides to tag it as a for sale property. The demand for eco-friendly homes hits high volume pushing many home owners to implement green redesign and remodel methods to their existing homes. According to home experts and economists, the operating costs of an eco-friendly home can be reduced to as much as 75%. This is anchored on the less time the home owner needs to run heating and cooling systems and other home appliances and devices.

Green alternatives always exist in almost every aspect of home remodeling and improvement. If you have an existing house which you wish to make greener, you can always resort to DIY methods. Better yet, you can tap the services of professional green house designers and let their expertise upscale your home’s market value. If you are looking for an eco-friendly new construction home, your local real estate agent is always ready to help you.

Passive Houses, the Best Eco-friendly Homes

With ever-increasing population, coupled with the continued world appetite for more energy, there is a global demand for energy-efficient homes. In response, architects all over the world are designing more sustainable homes that use better insulation and high-efficiency appliances. These designers are also incorporating in their buildings, the use of new sources of power, such as solar panels and wind turbines, which are the icons of the green building. In such a quest for the best eco-friendly homes, passive houses were born.

Passive houses were started in a small town in Germany outside of Frankfurt. The objective of a passive house is to create a warm and comfortable house without energy demand. The goal is accomplished by recycling heating.

Surprisingly, many people in North America are not familiar with them even though they are gaining a lot of following in European countries. As it incredible as it may sound, they use 90% less energy than a traditional house We are talking about paying only 10% of the energy bill that a traditional home is paying.

Just as North America is lagging behind China and some European and Asian countries in internet broad band use, it has yet to wake up to the tremendous energy savings that these inventive homes are providing. The Passivhaus Standard as it is known is much firmer than the Energy Star that many in North America consider as adequate environmental barometer.

Even as President Barack Obama is already being considered as the environmental President by many for his bold initiatives to transform the U.S. as the undisputed leader in the new and growing green economy, many in Europe are way ahead of the curve on passive homes. While the Obama government is poised to overhauling 75% of federal buildings in an effort to save $2 billion through energy efficiency alone, and the funding of green schools, passive homes are little unknown here.

Best green homes:
Passive houses use only 10% of energy used by conventional homes of comparable size. They use “recycled heat” generated inside the house to heat the home itself. By incorporating ultra-thick insulation and re-engineered doors and windows, the house is sealed so that no heat gets out and no cold air sips in. They are extremely energy efficient houses that don’t need an extensive heating or cooling system like geothermal heating system or heating boiler.

The house is heated by the sun, but also from the heat from the residents and even appliances in conjunction with an air-heat exchange system to provide fresh air and recycle the heat of outgoing air. In the winter, only a back-up heating element of 1kW maximum is recommended. The heating requirements for the U.S. is less or equal to 15kW/sq m. To make sure that a house meets the energy performance standard for passive houses, it is tested with ‘blowerdoor’ and thermal infrared camera.It is important to note that the building principles used in building passive houses can be transferred to new buildings and retrofits.

There are now an estimated 15,000 passive houses worldwide, most of them being built recently and mostly in Europe. What is holding the U.S back from this all important leadership role in the green economy?

Affordable Green Homes For All!

Building a house is certainly not an easy task. A huge amount of money, resource and time is involved in building a house. With rising cost of living and price of goods, things have become all the more difficult for an average citizen. A basic necessity like shelter has become a dream for many. However, constructing a house that is cost effective is not a difficult task. It is indeed not difficult to build affordable green homes. These homes will tackle the issue of environmental pollution.

The best thing about these houses is they are easily affordable by all. Constantly declining fossil fuels, global climate changes, have made it imperative on our part to look for alternative means of energy. Going green is the way. There are many beautiful houses that are built on these lines. The materials used in the construction of green products use very little energy. This has a direct impact on the reduction of carbon emission. Eco friendly design methodology can also reduce energy consumption by minimising energy inputs for heating, cooling and light, and incorporating energy efficient appliances. This will help you save energy and money as well. It is a smart way to build house that is eco friendly too. Such houses can withstand all kind of weather.

One can find information regarding construction of such houses by looking online too. You can get numerous green home building suggestions. Know more about how to build healthier homes:

Eco-friendly construction will help create a favourable indoor as well as outdoor environment. The conventional building materials are known to cause serious environmental problems and also a host of health problems. Chemical pollutants from paints, solvents, plastics and composite timbers, along with biological pollutants such as dust mites and moulds causes symptoms such as asthma, headaches, depression, eczema, palpitations and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Green buildings will help eliminate such problems. Proper ventilation design, breathable walls, and using natural and non-toxic products and materials will help you build a house that is environmental friendly. There are many advantages of building such houses. Using natural products to construct house will help re-stabilize the ecological balance and also get rid of certain diseases. A natural and friendly environment will ensure you breathe fresh air. This will certainly keep at bay certain life threatening disease. There are benefits galore of opting to construct green homes. Besides, this it will also give jobs to local business and help strengthen the staggering economy. Using household solar panels will help you use freely available energy and put it to good use. It will help save energy consumption too. Solar energy, if utilized properly can be put to good use. It can be used to heat water and generate electricity.

What Does a Home Builder Mean When They Say Green?

What does a home builder mean when they say that they build “green” homes? The term green is being used a lot to describe a wide range of products and it is unclear exactly what is meant. It can mean that the product is made from recycled materials, or perhaps has a longer life then competitors, or maybe uses less energy or any other number of ways that a product might be considered green or environmentally friendly. This problem also exists in green building, where the term can be applied to a home or building for any number of reasons. As consumers it is important to know what to look for when looking at green homes to make sure the house really is environmentally friendly.

The list of things that can make a home or building green is very long. Homes that use low flow toilets and have energy efficient heating and cooling systems in them might be considered green by some builders. However, not everyone would think this is a green home. Other people focus more on building materials when considering whether or not a home is green. Were environmentally friendly materials like recycled wood, bamboo, or other recycled products like stone and metal used in construction? This could make a home green as well. In addition some people look at location and home size, focusing on questions like access to public transportation, environmental impact on the sight and efficient use of space. A home that was built near local mass transit, within walking distance of nearby stores, built on refill of an old train depot and also built to maximize usable space without having huge square footage would be considered green by these standards; and these are just a few examples of what different people can mean when they say a home is green.

Further complicating the issue of green building, some builders will try to use the term green just to attract attention to their properties. Green is becoming a term that home buyers are looking for more and more. Whether it is because they are concerned for the environment or they are looking for a home that is going to be energy efficient, builders are realizing that by advertising their homes and buildings as green they can get increased interest and a higher selling price for the property. So it is important as a consumer to know what a builder means when they advertise a building as green.

There are several things you can do to ensure you are truly getting an environmentally friendly home not just a home that a builder put a little extra insulation and a low flow toilet in to say it is green. First off you can look for LEED certified builders and buildings. LEED is a group in the United States that sets standards for green building and rates buildings based on their environmental impact or greenness. However, not all builders will be LEED certified and that doesn’t mean they aren’t making environmentally friendly homes, they may just not have gotten the certification. Other things you can look for are NAHBGreen certification, a green building program administered by the national association of homebuilders, or energy star ratings for energy efficiency.

Assuming you are interested in a home that does not have a LEED or other green building certification but that is claiming to be green, there are still ways to determine whether or not it really is an environmentally friendly house. The main part of this is to become an educated consumer, look for building materials that are recycled or made from rapidly renewable sources like bamboo. Also consider the orientation of the home and its windows. If the house was truly built to be environmentally friendly it will be built in such a way as to maximize the benefit it can get from the environment. This usually means lots of south and east facing windows and very phew west facing windows. This helps warm the house with sunlight in the morning and through the winter months, while keeping out the intense west sun that can lead to high cooling costs in the summer. The builder will also typically have preserved large shade trees to help keep the house cool if they are truly building an environmentally friendly home. You can also ask the builder about things like construction waste and what steps were taken to minimize it during the building of the home to find out if the home was built to be environmentally friendly or is just being sold as green to get a higher price. By making sure you take these steps when considering a green home we can insure that builders aren’t getting away with labeling homes green that aren’t really environmentally friendly.

Timber Frame House Advantages: Why Timber Frames Are Economical, Beautiful

People are exploring natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly home options more than ever before. The conventional stick frame house of today is typically built quickly and cheaply, with little regard to energy efficiency, durability, beauty, or ecological design. However, the timber frame house, with its long and proven history, is an excellent alternative to the typical house of modern times. Using large posts and beams with wood joinery and wood pegs (that means no screws, nails, or metal fasteners), they emphasize durability, strength, energy efficiency, and beautiful design.

Timber Frame Houses are Economical

A timber frame is naturally more economical than a stick frame house. There is less wood waste in the production of the necessary elements — large posts, beams, etc. Similarly, large posts and beams take greater advantage of the natural strength of a tree, as opposed to much smaller dimensional limber. Not only that, but it is uncommon that large timbers are shipped over long distances due to their sheer size and weight — timber frame construction actually encourages (and nearly demands) the use of local resources.

Durability and Strength

Because timber framing uses large posts and beams, the wood members have a much longer life span than the 2x4s of a typical home — in fact, there are buildings that are hundreds of years old. Some say timber frames get stronger over time as the wood dries and hardens.

Additionally, they are more resistant to the effects of earthquakes, strong winds, and heavy snow loads, and have much lower rates of replacement. If that wasn’t enough, heavy timber construction is significantly more fire-resistant than other types of construction. The benefits are enjoyed by generations of families.

Eco-Friendly and Beautiful Design

Timber frame homes are much more conducive to implementing high levels of insulation, as they allow for much more uninterrupted space between vertical members to wrap or fill with various types of insulation, including straw bales, one of the favored natural insulation materials. On the other hand, stick frames have many vertical members spaced closely together that break up wall space and make it challenging to fill with insulative material, or worse, do not actually provide a full wrap of insulation. And of course, adequate insulation is one of the essentials keys to an energy efficient home.

With their exposed wood, creative joinery, and the countless possibilities for artistic embellishments, timber frame houses are very beautiful and offer builders a chance to demonstrate their craft.

Learn Timber Frame Construction

If you want to get some hands-on experience learning how to build an efficient, durable, eco-friendly home, there are several schools which offer classes to the budding builder, with little or no experience with construction. Check out this comprehensive timber frame workshop for one example, which is located at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri. You can learn how to build a traditional home and help carry these skills into the future, and have a home that lasts your family for generations.

More Advantages

Curious about other positive benefits to building this way? Be sure to check out these websites to learn more about the advantages of timber construction. Enjoy!

Different Purposes of a Green House

Some of the reasons people use greenhouses are to grow vegetables, flowers and protect certain plants from winter. Such people use small greenhouses that fit in their small backyards and homes.

But we have others who need to grow plants and flowers through the year for purpose of business. Such people require very big green houses. Therefore there different green houses styles and sizes depending on the need of the people.

Green houses are constructed to be either strong permanent or temporary structures which can be moved from place to place. Their construction can be done from various materials and the materials making the frames determine whether a particular greenhouse is permanent.

A temporary structure will need to be light for it to be mobile hence it requires to be made from light materials such as aluminum which has a light weight nature.

What are some styles of greenhouse? One style is the dome greenhouse which is a very strong green house. This appears as a half a ball placed on the ground. Dome greenhouse is ideal for areas with a lot of snow fall and though it may appear to lack solidity it’s the strongest of all green houses structures.

How much does it cost to erect this free standing structure? It will cost one a little more at the start due to amount of panels and materials it requires. But not to worry as it pays off since it has a longer life than others.

Another style of the greenhouse is a structure which is not free standing but is attached to another structure such as house. Such a style is the gable greenhouse.

Generally a gable greenhouse appears like a half a gable house. The type of greenhouse one chooses will depend on the factors like; the amount of space, individual needs, and the size of the green house one requires.

How to Transform a House Into an Eco-Friendly Home?

In today’s property market, sellers are seeking innovative and new ways to enhance the appeal of their houses, in order to attract maximum potential buyers. “Green”- This term has made a place for itself in almost every aspect of life and the real estate sector is no exception. Yes, an extremely popular way to make a house desirable to the buyers is to effectively make it eco-friendly or “green”. Read on to know how you can successfully transform your house into an eco-friendly home and make a satisfying sale in the least possible time.

Your first step should be to convert the natural solar power into energy that we need for heating and cooling our homes. This can be done by installing solar panels. The money that goes into this act depends on the total area that you want to heat using these panels. For instance, if you want to heat your three story house entirely, then this would certainly be a huge investment. On the contrary, if you wish to use the solar power on a small scale, for example only on the pool shed or on your garage’s roof, then it would be quite affordable.

Properly insulating the attic of your house can also help you make your house green. Proper insulation would make your house stay cooler in the summers and retain heat during winters. There are lots of insulation options that can be considered, depending on where they would be used. Some of these options include spray foam, fiberglass, cellulose, soy beans, old denims, old newspapers etc.

Even, by simply replacing the old traditional bulbs with CFL bulbs, the monthly lighting costs can be significantly reduced. You can even consider hiring an experienced contractor to get the old and drafty windows of your house replaced with double pane windows. Likewise, getting aluminum siding replaced with new vinyl siding would also add to the energy efficiency of your house.

If you are planning to construct an extra space in the house, then it is advisable to go for green building materials that are non-toxic in nature. As for painting the walls of the house, it is best to use low or zero VOC paints. Paints that contain VOCs result in poor air quality inside the house and often cause side effects, like headaches, nausea, irritation and fatigue in the occupants. In worst cases, VOCs can even be the major cause for respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and asthma and more serious ordeals, like cancer or liver damage.

It is good to choose natural and durable materials, such as cork flooring and natural fiber carpet, having no perilous chemicals. Cork, being an excellent sustainable material, lessens noise pollution within the house, when used as flooring. Installing low-flow shower heads and toilets that use lesser water, than the standard plumbing fittings, can also act as an appealing feature of your house. So, incorporate these green changes in your house and get set to find not one, but many, potential buyers, willing to pay a big price for your house.