Many people are interested in Green Building and Materials these days and have asked me many questions about building green. I decided to share the answers here so everyone can learn.
What is Green Building?
Green Building is about creating a project that is energy efficient, eco-friendly, and has sustainable design. A structure designed to conserve resources and reduce negative impacts on the environment, whether it is energy, water, building materials or land.
What does LEED stand for?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings put forth by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
What makes a given product Green?
To keep it simple remember the three R’s
Reuse – Reduce – Recycle
Whenever we can reuse a product instead of producing a new one from raw materials we save on resource use and energy.
Products that reduce material use are considered green. For example, concrete staining can turn concrete slabs into attractive finished floors, eliminating the need for conventional finish flooring.
Taking a material at the end of its useful life and recycling it to make another product is considered green. For example, plastic bottles after use can be recycled into carpet.
Can you list some Green Building Materials?
There are so many “new” green materials popping up all over the place. Here are a few new ones that interested me and I’m considering using for the new, soon-to-be-built green eco-friendly spec home in Paradise Valley.
Soy-Crete – Yes it’s made from Soy. It’s a soybased concrete stain that is non hazardous, low VOC (volatile organic content), acid free and looks just like acid stained concrete flooring – only healthier.
Eco Top – used for countertops – it’s composed of FSC (forest council certified) bamboo blend and mixed with recycled wood fibers. It is available in 7 colors. It won’t fade and is extremely durable.
Natural Clay Earth Plaster – adds a rich texture to walls. It’s available in 43 colors. A nice bonus is it’s fade resistant, non toxic and easy to repair.
Denim Insulation – made from recycled denim. No they’re not digging out your old blue jeans from the landfill, instead they’re using the scrapes from the manufacturers. It’s 100% recyclable and formaldehyde free. And it won’t itch like the fiberglass type.