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Original Home Green Building Guide

Going green is good for all involved and easier than ever to do. Original Home would like to encourage you to “go green” on your upcoming project. Below is some information to help take your first steps.

The Need for Green

The big picture green is good for the environment, good for business.
You've heard the buzzwords: green, sustainable, high performance, environmentally-friendly, eco-conscious. When it comes to home building or renovation, all these words describe the same thing: making well informed decisions.
By making smarter choices about how you build and the products you recommend and use, you can significantly contribute to the health, wealth and well-being of yourself, the families for whom you build, your community, and the world.

Original Home Green Initiative
Original home plans are great starting points as they are practically sized and easy to apply green building practices to. Remember any shade of green is a start, so start where you are and do what your budget and conscience will allow.

Get started
Original Home strongly recommends finding a local green builder to help you achieve you green goals and share the process with early on. These building professionals will have a wealth of experience, information and contacts that are invaluable if you are an “eco-newbie”. Here are some links to help you track down a builder and other green professionals.

US Green Building Council
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Get the concept
Knowledge will help you take ownership of the choices and commitments you make along the way. Here are three broad concepts to guide you in the building process. Enjoy and good luck!

1. Pay Attention to Materials
Look at the material's life cycle: pay attention to how materials are made, how materials get to your site, how they will leave your job and what happens to them after the lifecycle of your building.
Look for Material Opportunities: All things come from the earth (the cradle) and if they go back to the earth responsibly, that’s a good thing (Cradle to Cradle).
Choose finishes and construction materials wisely: Look for healthy finishes and materials that will benefit your indoor air quality of your home. Toxic air quality is a big problem with traditional construction.

2. Pay Attention Green Building Methods
Sustainable framing:. Sustainable harvested woods or ecologically engineered framing materials are a step in the right direction.
Use natural building methods: Mother Nature knows best, so use natural methods whenever possible.
Manufactured Building Methods can be greene: Many building methods are more efficiently managed off site.

3. Pay Attention Green Building Systems and Site Planning.
Energy systems:. Many alternative and high efficiency choices exist on the market today. Good choices here have long term benefits to you pocket book and the environment.
Heating and Cooling Systems:. Energy efficiency and a low carbon footprint can be biggest impact in going green.
Water and Waste Systems:. Smart water usage will lighten your projects environmental impact dramatically
Landscaping and Site Planning: Many green opportunities in the site development stage of your project.

Get educated
Original Home wants to encourage you go deeper in your knowledge of Green so below are great links and resources to help you navigate through it all.

Green building 101
Green building from Wikipedia:
Green glossary

Does it cost more? Because this approach requires more time be spent up front for design people often assume that it costs more. In fact, some architecture and engineering firms have found that sustainable design projects were, between 15-25% more profitable than conventional project.

Get Green services

Green Lifestyle links

Get serious
It’s time to do your homework. We recommend the Green Building for Dummies book if you want to get serious about learning the fundamentals of going green <www.dummies.com>. Otherwise below is a comprehensive list to study green building in depth. Good luck!

Green Factoids
Fact: We spend an average of 90% of our time in buildings-and the air quality inside is two to five times worse than outside air.
Fact: Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of our total energy consumption - 60% of our electricity alone. As a point of reference, transportation - including cars, buses, trains, etc. - comprise only 27%.
Fact: Worldwide, buildings consume nearly 40% of the world's energy, 25% of its wood, and 15% of its water.
Source: Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance

Making an impact - it's a group effort
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America Program, an integrated, systems-engineering approach can reduce as much as 50% of the energy consumption of a new home - with little or no impact on the cost of construction.
Most professionals who engage in a whole systems or integrated approach to design and building agree that the transition takes a bit of extra time in the beginning; after all, it's a new way of working and thinking. In an integrated process the team works as a collective to understand and develop all aspects of the design, which can them emerge organically, with the full benefit of each expert's input. Together the group creates a solution that no individual could develop alone.
Green building unites disciplines that have traditionally worked independently from one another, such as architects, engineers, builders, material suppliers, community planners, mortgage lenders and contractor trades.

Benefits for builders
1. Reduced callbacks and warranty claims
2. Lower material and labor costs during construction
3. Reduced purchase cost of mechanical equipment
4. Less construction waste
5. Higher quality homes = competitive advantage
Benefits for homeowners
1. Lower utility bills
2. Greater comfort
3. Better indoor air quality
4. Energy-efficient mortgages
5. Higher resale prices
Benefits for the nation
1. Less reliance on fossil fuels
2. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
3. More affordable homes for first-time homebuyers

Green Links by Topic

Alternative Energy
Alternative Energy
Alternative energy news and information resources about renewable energy technologies.
Alternative Energy -Wikipedia
Alternative energy is energy derived from sources that do not harm the environment or deplete the Earth's natural resources.
Alternative Energy Store
Making Renewable Do-able -- The Alternative Energy Store is the premiere retailer of renewable energy goods.
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.
Renewable Energy Access
A trusted source for Renewable Energy News and Information on the Internet.
Small Wind from American Wind Energy Association
Wind-powered electric systems sized for homes, farms, and small businesses.

Communities & Blogs
Alternative Energy Blog
News, views and strong opinions on alternative energy resources including wind power, solar energy, wave energy, geothermal & other alternate energy sources.
Building Green
Providing homeowners with a glimpse of just how easy, cost-effective and healthy it is to go green, while dispelling the myth that an environmentally conscious lifestyle means doing without.
Building Seattle Green
We are a collective of professionals dedicated to exploring green building and the technologies, practices, materials and designs that are at the forefront of this movement.
Equity Green
Finding equity in green real estate.
Green Geek
Technology for a greener future.
Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture
Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website www.greenhomebuilding.com, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.
GreenHomeGuide helps close the gap between intentions and practical realities. We?re a trusted, community-based resource whose combination of tips, case studies, expert Q&A articles and regional directories of products and services helps millions of homeowners create homes that make them feel good.
Ramsey House Project
Follow and learn from a Canadian family building a home in the City of Calgary.

Media & Publications
Green Building from HGTVpro
Get going with green building -- from using renewable resources in construction to energy efficiency in the finished home.
Daily News and Resources on Green Business, Sustainable Practices, Environmental Innovation.
Home Power Magazine
Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or not, off-grid or on-grid, Home Power is here to help you make informed decisions about your energy use. We provide extensive product information, homeowner testimonials, buyer advice, and "how-to" instructions

Associations & Not-for-Profit Organizations
American Solar Energy Society
ASES is leading the renewable energy revolution. We?re the nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies in the U.S.
Build it Green
Build It Green is a professional non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy and resource-efficient buildings in California.
Energy Star >> U.S. EPA / DOE
Protect our environment for future generations.
Global Green USA
Fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future.
Green Building Initiative
The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches for residential and commercial construction.
Green Progress
The latest news on environmental technology and green innovations.
Healthy House Institute
For a Healthier Home - The Resource for a Better, Safer Indoor Environment.
Solar Living Institute
Promoting Sustainable Living through Inspirational Environmental Education.
The Green Home Guide From Seattle to Des Moines to New York City, anyone can have a green home. Rented or owned, affordable or market-rate, single-family or multi-unit, urban, suburban or rural: If it?s housing, it can be green.
U .S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices.

Green Wednesday
Green Wednesday is a weekly email newsletter from Architecture Week focusing on green and sustainable design and building.
Cutting edge environmental commentary, timely green building news, new green building product information and much more.
Renewable Energy Access
Subscribe to our Newsletters. We Cover All Renewable Energy Technologies Solar Energy - Wind Power - Geothermal - Hydropower - Hydrogen - Biomass - Ocean Energy - Green Power - and other emerging renewable energy technologies.
Sustainable Architecture, Building and Culture
Get our newsletter - it's FREE! Eco & green building, healthy homes, home remediation, maintenance and design, household tips and web site reviews.

Products & Suppliers
ENERGY STAR Qualified Products
Products in more than 50 categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.
Environmental Home Center
Your source for green building materials, including low-toxic, low-odor paints, finishes, sealers, carpets, and cork and linoleum flooring from Nature's, AFM/ Safecoat, BioShield, Forbo and OS.
Forest World
Forest World LLC is the premier manufacturer of sustainably harvested forest products.
Green Home Building
Using natural, non-industrial materials will improve the energy equation when building.
Green2Green.org offers free environmental and practical data about any Green-Building Material or practice.
GreenSpec-Listed Products from Building Green
The online GreenSpec? Directory lists product descriptions for over 2,100 environmentally preferable products.

Case Studies
Capitol Hill House -Seattle, WA
The owners wanted to retain its "modern" look, while turning it from drab to beautiful. At the same time, they wanted their house project to be a laboratory for sustainability and "smart house" technology.
Eastern Sierra House -Gardnerville, NV
This sustainable demonstration home was carefully designed to take advantage of the rugged beauty of its site on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, overlooking the Carson Valley.
Factor 10 House -Chicago, IL
Factor 10 House's cutting edge design was one of five affordable case-study designs chosen for construction and was completed in summer 2003.
Florida House Learning Center
The Florida House Learning Center demonstrates "earth-friendly" conservation technology and design for living in southwest Florida.
Hanover House -Hanover, NH
The Hanover House uses active and passive solar systems and high efficiency, resulting in extremely low energy consumption.
Lakeside Solar House -Evanston, IL
This single-family residence on Lake Michigan was designed to take advantage of the dramatic views of Lake Michigan.
Resource Efficient Homes Across America
Homes across America provides a showcase of information on sustainable construction practices, innovations, and resource efficient features.
Solar Umbrella House -Venice, CA
Inspired by Paul Rudolph's Umbrella House of 1953, the Solar Umbrella House was designed to establish a precedent for the next generation of California modernist architecture.
Wine Creek Road Home -Healdsburg, CA
This modest California retreat evokes the spirit of local vernacular buildings and was designed to take maximum advantage of the site and climate to make the house comfortable while minimizing energy use and environmental impacts.
Z6 House -Santa Monica, CA
The Z6 House is a single-family residence that was added to a multifamily-zoned lot with an existing duplex.

Financing & Tax Credits
Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
The IRS has provided the guidance regarding the tax credits for constructing energy efficient new homes available under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Site & Water
Building Green
Water-Efficient Appliances and Equipment, Land Development, Landscaping, Plumbing Fixtures, Site Selection, Stormwater, Water Collection and Conservation.
Greenscapes -U.S. EPA
GreenScaping encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.

Codes, Standards & Rating Systems
ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes
An ENERGY STAR qualified new home performs better for the homeowner and the environment thanks to a variety of energy-efficient features.
LEED Rating System for Homes
LEED for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes.

Interactive Tools
Carbon Footprint Calculator from Green Progress
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Your Impact.
Ecological Footprint Quiz from Earthday
Ever wondered how much "nature" your lifestyle requires?
Test Your Energy IQ from National Geographic
Is your home a Green House?

HelioPower specializes in helping you manage your energy consumption, as well as helping you reduce or eliminate your energy bills - whether gas, propane, or electricity.
SunPower residential solutions offer up to 50% more power than conventional solar systems, and our all-black panels blend in beautifully with your home?s rooftop.


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