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Green homes rely upon established, proven design features and technologies that are based on various principles of building science. Many of these features do not have a significantly large cost. While most homebuyers think of design as being the floor plan or the style of the exterior, the design of a green home involves every aspect of the building process.

In many cases the starting point for design is the floor plan. This process involves evaluating your lifestyle, planning for the future and being size appropriate. A bigger house requires more materials and products, it also requires more energy to build as well as to heat and cool. Considerations for the exterior style of the home should include proper roof orientation to enable photovoltaic and solar water heating systems to operate efficiently. Exterior doors need to be covered with a roof or awning to prevent water intrusion and roof overhangs sized appropriately for the climate. Windows should be sized, located and shaded to help reduce heating and cooling loads.

Site or lot selection should include consideration of its location in relation to an existing floodplain, its location to existing infrastructure such as existing water and sewer service lines, and its location relative to basic community resources such as churches, schools, supermarket, a fire station, a park and public transportation.

Additional design considerations should include an approved energy analysis, a geothermal HVAC system, a fresh air circulation system, photovoltaic and solar water heating systems, enhanced basement waterproofing, advance framing and insulation techniques, tubular skylights in rooms without windows, a grey water reuse system, a rainwater harvesting system, landscaping and a high-efficiency irrigation system.


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