If you’re planning on renovating your home or business, learn these green building terms to talk like a pro and get the most out of your green renovating.
Advanced framing techniques conserve building materials by using alternate framing methods to reduce the amount of materials needed.
Reclaimed lumber is lumber that is taken from a building or structure during renovations or before destruction. It can be used for many applications, such as flooring and paneling. It has beautiful surface characteristics, costs less than new lumber, and reduces landfill waste. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) only certifies FSC-certified wood if it was harvested sustainably and managed with ethical practices. Structural bamboo is a sustainable wood source that is beautiful, very hard, and eco-friendly.
Rastra is a commercially manufactured, insulated concrete form (IFC). It is manufactured from recycled, post-consumer plastics and yields high insulative qualities.
Earthen flooring is a mixture of soil with straw and other fibers that is treated with oils to form a hard surface. This makes the flooring easy to repair, inexpensive, and it yields a very small impact on the environment.
Photovoltaic panels collect solar energy and convert it to direct current electricity. A green roof is a roof that is covered in vegetation (grass, mostly, but you could add some vegetable plants or decorative plants) and designed with an undercarriage that is waterproof. These roofs reduce the carbon footprint of your home, can significantly reduce your heating and cooling energy needs, and can reduce the heat-island effect.
The heat-island effect refers to an area, typically a city, where streets and buildings have replaced natural landscaping, causing the temperature to increase as much as ten degrees higher than outside the area. Permeable paving is pavement that allows water to seep into the ground, which helps to keep the water table from being depleted.
Dual flush toilets have two different settings, usually 0.8 gallons for liquid removal and 1.6 gallons for solids removal. They use about 2,500 gallons each year, less than half of what a conventional 1.6-gallon toilet uses.
Flow reducers are attached just downstream from the water shutoff valve on a building to limit the amount of water flow in relation to the delivery pressure from the grid water; they can save thousands of gallons of water each year.
Graywater is wastewater that comes from bathroom sinks, baths, showers, and your washing machine. Graywater can be recaptured and then used to water your lawn and garden.
Energy Star is a labeling program that identifies energy-efficient products, such as appliances, lighting, electronics, and even buildings. Products that are manufactured locally reduce emissions that are typically associated with long-distance shipping, and can stimulate your local economy.
Solar water heating is a method of heating water used in your home with solar panels. The heated water can then be used to heat your home with a radiant heat system and be used for any other activity where hot water is desired. Finally, tankless water heaters are designed to be an on-demand method of heating water, so that energy is not wasted maintaining the heat of the water.