Concrete Flatwork

Concrete's negative environmental impacts lie in it's large contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for runoff. These impacts can be minimized by implementing green concrete flatwork practices in your project.

Conditioned Basements and Foundations: Insulation and Air Sealing

Insulating basement walls can produce typical annual savings of between $250 to $450 per year depending on home location and R-Value of insulating material.

Sustainable Landscaping

Preplanning and considering the natural community surrounding the building site will enable you to integrate sustainable landscaping into your construction project.

Basements and Foundations: Guidelines for Moisture Control

Excessive moisture in a home can cause problems with indoor air quality and create an unhealthy environment for its inhabitants. This document discusses steps that can be taken to control moisture in existing basements and foundations.

Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical

The systems and appliances installed in a home can dramatically affect the amount of energy that the building will consume over its lifetime, but there are several approaches and products that can be used to ensure the most energy efficient home.

Exterior Wall Systems

Exterior Wall Systems

Green wall systems are energy efficient, environmentally sound, and minimize usage of natural resources. There are many alternatives to traditional stick framing that create healthier buildings which provide a comfortable environment as well as cost savings.

Floor Framing and Subfloor

Green flooring choices generally do not require any changes to the home's design. You simply substitute the better, more durable, environmentally efficient material for the conventional material during your installation process.

Foundations and Moisture Management

A quality foundation can help control water penetration and dampness, reduce heat loss, minimize unwanted air flow, and is integral to overall home performance.

Low-Impact Lot Development

Low-impact lot development emphasizes the importance of protecting the natural environment in and around your building lot to minimize environmental intrusion during on-site construction as well as during occupancy.

Running a Blower Door Test

An air leak can result in a 25 percent heat loss in a newly constructed home and a 40 percent loss in older buildings. To get an accurate measurement of your home's tightness, conduct a blower-door test.

Finishing the Home Interior

Finishing the interior of a new home to meet green building objectives involves installing energy and water efficient appliances, and using non-toxic paints and sealants for walls, woodwork, floors and cabinets.


By properly insulating your home's building envelope, you can control the flow of air in and out of the home, which will have a tremendous impact on heat loss, cooling needs, moisture control, and air quality.


Green roof framing techniques focus on reducing waste, reducing the amount of virgin wood used, and choosing wood products that have been certified for being sustainably harvested. This fact sheet discusses several approaches to include in your roofing system to ensure a durable, energy efficient roof.

Interior Walls and Trim

While a long-term standard in interior finishing, drywall, or gypsum board, uses a significant amount of energy for the curing process and creates a huge carbon footprint. This fact sheet discusses how to minimize that environmental impact.

Types of Insulation: Quick Reference

There are 9 different types of insulating material available, and knowing when, where, and how to apply each one may be confusing. Additionally, the level of installation required depends on the location of the home.

Unconditioned Basements: Venting and Insulation

When basements are treated as unconditioned spaces, like crawl spaces, insulation treatments are similar to those used for attics. This fact sheet discusses insulating your unconditioned basement and measures to control moisture inherent in basement and foundation structures.

Insulating and Air Sealing the Attic: Weatherization

Insulation can vastly improve comfort and energy use in both hot and cold climates. Adding insulation and sealing unintentional cracks and openings improves energy efficiency in cold climates. In warmer climates, the installation of radiant barriers in the attic may help reduce cooling costs when combined with attic weatherization.

Advanced Framing Techniques: Optimum Value Engineering

Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) is construction design that uses less wood and natural resources, but delivers superior strength and quality. OVE is sometimes call Advanced Framing Design because the techniques of OVE apply primarily to stick framing in residential construction.

Exterior Finishes

Exterior Finishes

The exterior of a house is designed to protect the home from the elements, but is also a vital part of a home's visual appeal. There are many choices when it comes to the external finish of a home, and most have pros and cons when it comes to environmental considerations and energy savings.

Green Building Basics

This fact sheet gives an overview of green building basics from the design process to the operation and maintenance of the home. This document can be used as a primer for anyone interested in getting starting with green building.

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