Construction Green Book
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5 Tips To Make The Exterior Of Your Home More Sustainable

There are many relatively easy things that homeowners can do to make their homes more sustainable and to reduce their impact on the environment. Without having to make any major changes to their homes or invest in new products or major renovations, homeowners can opt for some simple changes that can add up to a big difference in the resources they use. The first place to consider when trying to make your home more sustainable is the exterior of your home. That’s because simple changes can be made that don’t add up to a need for big renovations or costly new materials, such as appliances or building materials. All you need to do is put in a little bit of manpower or use a bit of ingenuity and you will be well on your way to making your home a more sustainable place to live. Here are 5 tips that you can implement outdoors to improve the sustainability of your home:..
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Marlins Park Is First LEED Gold Certified Baseball Stadium in U.S.

Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins (formerly the Florida Marlins), is the first major league baseball stadium in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification. Builders of the ballpark, which is located in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami and sits on the site of the former Orange Bowl, had an initial goal of achieving LEED silver certification and surpassed their initial goals. Now recognized as the most sustainable stadium in Major League Baseball, the retractable roof stadium is a study in sustainability. Various aspects of sustainable and environmentally responsible building principles were incorporated throughout the design and construction phases of the stadium, resulting in the site attaining 40 LEED points. From sustainable site selection and the use of regionally sourced and recycled content materials, to a focus on water and energy use reduction, as well as construction waste management, Marlins Park hit one out of the ballpark. What are some aspect
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What Is The Living Building ChallengeTM?

The Living Building ChallengeTM (LBC) is an ambitious initiative challenging builders and designers to design, create and operate in the most environmentally-responsible ways. In fact, the requirements needed to receive LB C certification are even more stringent than those of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council. The LBC’s challenge calls for the creation of building projects that operate as cleanly, efficiently and beautifully as nature itself. In order to meet certification requirements, a building must achieve net zero energy, waste and water criteria during a minimum of 12 months with continuous occupancy, in addition to meeting a number of other stringent requirements. Initiated approximately less than a decade ago, only a few buildings have been able to meet the strict requirements laid out by the LBC certification challenge. Less than ten have achieved actual LBC certification, while an...
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New Bethesda Navy Exchange Is LEED Gold-Certified

A new Navy Exchange (NEX) at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Bethesda, Maryland was recently awarded LEED Gold certification status through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. The complex is located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside of Washington, D.C. The project, which was completed in October 2012, was designed and built by a joint venture between Walbridge and Brasfield & Gorrie, who served as the design-builder of the project. Less than a year later, in June 2013, the complex achieved LEED Gold certification. The Navy Exchange in Bethesda comprises a 350,000 square foot complex that includes a 151,450 sq. ft. exchange, along with a 196,400 sq. ft. parking structure that can accommodate 500 vehicles. Some of the features that contributed to the new Navy Exchange’s Gold LEED certification include a 53,000 sq. ft. green roof, which contains vegetation that blends in with the
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The Best Types of Green Lighting

As we learn more and more about the impact of our behavior on the environment, we realize that minimizing the output of harmful chemicals and maximizing our use of natural resources is critical for maintaining our planet. Green lighting is one way in which people are making the most out of what’s available to them. In the past, traditional light bulbs were used by many individuals because of their low cost and reliability. However, these bulbs often have a short lifespan, rendering their cheapness irrelevant, and they require far too much energy. Green lighting is a much better option. This term refers to the purchase of energy-efficient lights, lamps and bulbs that are both long lasting and good for the environment. What follows is a description of the various types of lights that can be used to make your home or business more environmentally friendly. High intensity discharge lights (HIDs) are often regarded as the most energy-efficient lamp on the market. It is...
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The Benefits of Green Roofing Materials

Over the past decade, the world has becoming increasingly aware of environmental problems that may significantly affect future generations. As a result, people are forming innovative solutions to environmental issues that are both simple and affordable. One such solution is "green roofing." This term applies to two different ideas. The first notion--that by utilizing environmentally friendly roofing materials and techniques we can keep our neighborhoods and cities more green--is what is most commonly meant when someone says "green roofing." However, the second interpretation of this term is far more literal; it refers to the movement, often in urban areas, to grow grass, plants, and flowers on rooftops. Neither of these green roofing tactics compromises the roof's sustainability, and many individuals would argue that they can enhance a building's appearance. In fact, many home and business owners are pleasantly surprised by their green roofs' performance. When building...
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Renewable Energy At Home

As policymakers and scientists work towards developing more efficient ways to harness renewable energy, you’ve probably heard quite a bit on the topic. However, are you aware that there are ways to use renewable energy sources in your own home or office space? First of all, the sun can be used as a major source of energy. You can harness the sun’s energy using solar panels around your property (usually on the roof of your home or office). These panels convert photons in sunlight into usable energy that can power your home. Solar energy can not only work to supply energy to your electronics, appliances, lights, heating/air conditioning, etc…, but can also be used as the power source for your hot water heater. There are a variety of solar panel systems to choose from, so if you’re exploring this as an option, make sure to work with a specialist so that you choose the best system for your home or business needs. Solar panel systems can help to not only create a more...
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Building Green: Who’s The Best In the Commercial Sector?

These days, it seems as though there are never shortages of information, reminders, and warnings related to maintaining a “green” lifestyle or business practices. While both the government and private interest groups are quick to stress the importance of creating a greener world, it can be difficult to know where to start. When making the choice to house your business in a green office space or facility, it is important to have as much information as possible concerning your options, especially when it comes to selecting a company to fulfill your green commercial construction needs. When you are searching for the perfect contractor to carry out your green construction needs, it is important to take notice of their relationship with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. While some companies may say that they are experienced in providing environmentally friendly construction, the USGBC is perhaps the most highly respected voice on the matter. Therefore, their...
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Eco-Friendly Window Choices

Whether you’re building an addition or starting a new home from scratch, selecting the perfect windows will be a part of your construction agenda. If you’re interested in making eco-friendly window choices that are good for the environment, there are a lot of green window options that can lead you to a stylish, well lit, and environmentally-friendly living or working environment. First of all, the glass used in all windows is made from superheated sand, a natural resource. Therefore, you don’t have to worry too much about the negative effects that glass production and manufacturing might have on the environment. However, you can make choices concerning the type of glass you choose for your space. While most windows feature double-paned glass, triple-paned glass offers higher levels of insulation, which may cut down on heating costs for the inside of your space. While triple-paned glass is a bit more expensive to purchase and install, it is an economical choice...
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FAU’s Institute For Neuroscience is South Florida’s 200th LEED Building Project

LEED, which refers to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary program that serves as a benchmark in certifying that building projects are conducted in a manner conducive to conserving energy and overall resources during the construction process, as well as throughout the ongoing operation, maintenance and utilization of the building. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED program addresses factors that affect the entire lifecycle of a building. South Florida recently welcomed its 200th LEED certified building in November of 2012 with the completion of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience on the campus of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Jupiter, Florida. The LEED certified building will serve as an office as well as a laboratory at the university and is one of sixty-one projects that have achieved LEED certification in the South Florida area during 2012. The year saw the biggest push so far for builders and project...
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Types of Sustainable Wood Products

In today’s society, environmentally friendly products are extremely popular for a couple of reasons. First, by purchasing green materials and goods, we protect the world around us. Second, eco-friendly products are often quite durable and, in the long run, cost-effective. For instance, sustainable wood products are increasingly used in homes. The term “sustainable wood” generally refers to any wood that is collected in a way that does not compromise the future. In other words, if a tree is cut down in order to take wood from it, another tree or more trees will be planted in its place, or the tree is extremely fast growing and will quickly replace what is lost. This is a great way to ensure that future generations will have ample wood at their disposal. What follows is a description of some sustainable wood products that are being used in residences. Although bamboo is technically a type of grass, it is commonly used in place of traditional wood because of its sturdiness...
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Green Building Organizations Popping Up Nationwide

With the ever-increasing focus on greener building, as well as a push to make existing and new buildings more energy efficient and sustainable, green building coalitions and organizations seem to be popping up nationwide to provide incentives, information and guidelines for contractors, builders and building managers to follow across the country. Some organizations dedicated to green building initiatives are national in scope, such as the U.S. Green Building Council, the private non-profit organization responsible for developing and overseeing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building rating system. These organizations are dedicated to promoting sustainable building design and construction, while ensuring the creation of buildings that are environmentally responsible and that are healthy places to work and live. Other organizations are more localized in scope...
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Green Building In NYC

Few places in the world have commercial building structures make up as much of the environment as they do in New York City. In fact, there are almost a million buildings in an area that only covers a little more than 300 square miles. With so many buildings in such a small space, it makes sense that NYC would be on top of its game when it comes to encouraging green building initiatives and more energy-efficient operation. In order to help the city become more sustainable, initiatives have been put into place that focus on greener buildings and energy efficiency. The city has put together a Green Codes Task Force, and by doing so, aims to bring the benefits of green building design and sustainable strategies to all buildings, rather than just the most advanced buildings. These common sense strategies are generally cost effective, easy to implement and widely adoptable. They are also designed to help with everything from cleaner air and cleaner waterways to the city being primed.
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How To Build a Rainwater Collection System

Your home requires water for many of the daily routines that you and your family enjoy. From brushing your teeth and showering, to washing your laundry, cooking and cleaning, water is an essential part of your everyday existence. If you are a homeowner with a yard, you’ll also find that you need water to care for the outside of your home, whether for watering the lawn, keeping plants and flowers alive, or hosing down the driveway or patio. With so many needs for water each day, you may be wondering how to curb the amount of water you and your family use. Clean water delivered from your local municipality or water company is costly, and depending on where you live, may even be in relatively short supply at various times during the year (such as in a drought). So, how can you rely less on the water coming from the water company and more on the water falling naturally from the sky? The answer may be to build a rainwater collection system. This system is a natural...
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What To Know Before Installing Solar Panels On Your Home

If you are one of the increasing number of Americans that is considering installing solar panels on your home, you may have many questions. The installation of solar panels can require a substantial outlay of money initially, even though it will provide equally substantial savings over the long term, so before you decide to take the solar plunge, you should make sure you know all you need to know. One of the first things you may be wondering is if solar panels are even right for your home. In order to answer this question, you’ll need to consider factors such as how much sun exposure your roof gets, what direction it faces (basically any sun exposure except for a northern exposure will usually work), what condition your current roof is in, and whether you can afford the initial lump sum payment required to install solar panels on your home’s roof. Factors that are not as important in deciding if solar power is for you include where you live. You do not need to live in a hot...
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Different Types of Green Flooring

With environmental issues dominating the news over the past decade, people are searching for simple ways to become more environmentally friendly. Many individuals have chosen to use environmentally friendly flooring to make their homes and businesses more green. The following is a guide to different types of green flooring. Recycled wood floors are extremely popular, effective, and great for the environment. Simply put, reusing wood from other homes or buildings prevents waste. After some touching up, these floors can also look quite appealing and natural. There will be some costs that are associated with cleaning and finishing the wood, but the final product usually looks impressive and justifies the extra expenses. Other recycled materials, such as plastic, rubber, and glass, can also be used to create an aesthetically pleasing floor. If you do not want old, recycled wood in your home or business but still want to be green, purchasing Forest Stewardship Council-certified..
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Green Landscaping: Not Just For Green Thumbs

Whether you’re a skilled gardener or not, there are many ways in which you can make landscaping an environmentally friendly process at your home or office. Here are a few quick tips for making the most out of your outdoor space, especially in terms of being kind to the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), creating an environmentally friendly outdoor space can start with something as simple as using native plants to landscape your area. EPA claims that using native plants can bring wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and other animals to areas that were originally not classified as “wilderness” areas. Fortunately, once these plants are well established in their native environment, they do not need fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or additional watering. This should provide a cut in costs as well as a diminishing in the amount of maintenance required to keep the landscape healthy. Using native plants can also improve air quality in the...
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Types of Green Paving Materials

Although environmentally friendly cars and energy sources dominate the news, there are many other important ways that we can help the environment. Construction work in and around our homes and businesses can be harmful to the surrounding area and may involve the use of non-recyclable materials. It is critical that we minimize our ecological footprint, and there are simple changes that we can make to achieve this objective without compromising the quality of our lives. Paving roads, driveways, and sidewalks with green materials is one such way in which we can alter our past behavior in order to help the environment. All green paving materials are judged by their VOC (volatile organic compound) score. A score of zero indicates that there are no harmful or toxic substances in the pavement. Paving contractors are also evaluated by the LEED® rating system for green building. LEED is a part of the U.S. Green Building Council, which promotes eco-friendly alternatives for...
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Eco-Friendly Heating Options

In our increasingly environmentally aware culture, people are searching for simple and affordable ways of becoming eco-friendly. More specifically, people are utilizing environmentally conscious techniques for building and maintaining homes and businesses. Heating a residence or office can be a costly necessity, especially if it is not installed properly. Additionally, traditional heating methods require the use of gas, oil, or electricity, eating up valuable resources and, in some cases, emitting harmful toxins into the air. To combat the negative effects of conventional heating, people are turning to alternative, eco-friendly heating techniques that are extremely efficient. A brief explanation of the most popular methods follows. The most well-known technique for heating one’s home or office building in an environmentally fashion is called solar heating. This technique involves the placement of multiple large solar panels or collectors on top of a building’s...
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Green HVAC Advice

When it comes to heating and cooling your home or office, it’s understandable that you probably want the best products that money can buy. However, have you considered the environmental implications of the devices you use to heat and cool your space? Here are a few facts about eco-friendly heating and cooling that you’ll want to understand. According to Energy Star, there are a number of methods you can choose to help efficiently heat and cool your space. Among the simplest of these methods is changing your air filters frequently. You should change your air filters once every three months (at least), and check to make sure that they’re not too dirty once every month in between. Blocked air filters can cause a severe slowing of air flow, which can cause the heating or cooling devices powered by your home to expend more energy. It is also easy and important to make sure that your heating and cooling devices are regularly checked for maintenance issues. Once yearly...
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Green Wall Coatings: Interesting Paint Options

Even though people are becoming increasingly environmentally friendly, there are still a number of ways in which individuals can make their homes and businesses more green. One potentially overlooked area when it comes to eco-friendly building is wall coatings. Certain types of paint emit toxic chemicals that hurt both the environment and humans’ health, so it is critical that we find new ways to coat our walls in an eco-friendly fashion. There are several different types of paint that are made organically and, consequently, do not have an adverse effect on the environment or humans. Clay-based paint is one of the most popular green wall coatings. Many people choose clay paint because of its natural, earthy appearance. However, most people are unaware that clay paint is available in a variety of colors, not just mahogany or other shades of brown. Clay paint is also ideal because it doesn’t produce any odor and is completely safe to apply with people...
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Apple’s Maiden NC Data Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

Apple, Inc.’s data center located in Maiden, North Carolina proudly holds the distinction of being LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The platinum certification is the highest designation bestowed by the USGBC’s LEED program, a voluntary third-party verification program aimed at promoting green, environmentally-responsible building practices and operations. In order for a commercial building to earn LEED certification, it must earn a specified number of points on a LEED rating scale, and must also meet all prerequisites specified by the LEED program. The minimum number of points that must be earned in order to achieve LEED certification is 40 out of a possible 110 point rating scale. Platinum certification requires a minimum of 80 points on the scale. So, what are some of the features of Apple’s Maiden data center that were designed with the intent to build a healthier, more environmentally friendly building that is both energy efficient and made...
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