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10 Green Construction Ideas

10 Green Construction Ideas

Whether to help protect the environment or to simply lower energy costs, more and more people are seeking green alternatives to conventional construction methods. But many people get lost in the politics, construction terminology, and scientific jargon of environmentally-friendly building. Simply put, green construction encompasses everything from the siting and designing of a building to a building’s demolition, with the goal of increasing the efficient use of resources, reducing waste byproducts, and creating a healthier space for a building’s occupants. More practically, here are 10 green construction ideas from Carolina Services Inc to help create a more efficient and healthy space for you.

 1. Go Small

Bigger isn’t always better. Working with a space planner to evaluate your needs and design an efficient interior layout often means using less space than you thought necessary. A smaller building will require fewer resources to construct and less energy to maintain a comfortable inside temperature.

2. Use a Passive Solar Design

Passive solar design depends on absorbing solar energy in the winter to heat a structure and rejecting the same energy in the summer. Although there are many ways to accomplish a passive solar design, the most popular is to use large south-facing windows with a slightly overhanging roof above them. The rays will reach the windows in the winter months when the sun is lower and be blocked during the summer.

3. Landscape Smartly

Smart landscaping goes hand in hand with passive solar design. Planting deciduous trees around a structure helps block sunlight during the warm months, but as the leaves fall in the winter the rays can once again reach and warm the building.

4. Select a “Cool” Roof

Dark colored roofs absorb heat and can reach temperatures nearing 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Roofs that are white or light-colored will reflect the solar heat, lowering energy costs in the summer. This type of roof is best suited for climates with mild winters, as the heat retaining properties of a dark roof is valuable in colder climates.

5. Install Solar Panels

Although solar panels are one of the most well-known green construction ideas, many people are concerned with the cost of installation. But between federal and state government incentives and a growing demand, solar panels are becoming more and more affordable – and are an excellent way to reduce energy costs. Nevertheless, you want to protect your investment by making sure solar panels are safely fastened to your roof. It’s best to have a professional install your panel and an electrician ensure that all of the wiring is correctly completed.

6. Install Energy Efficient Windows

Energy is lost around doors and windows due to cracks, gaps, and a lack of caulking, which is easily remedied. But to truly make your windows energy-efficient, install double or triple glazed windows with an air fill to reduce heat transfer.

7. Insulate Exterior Walls

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average of 44% of the average American household’s energy bill is heating and cooling costs. Using efficient windows and a cool roof will not be as effective if your home is improperly insulated – or not insulated at all, as is the case in many older buildings. There are also a variety of new insulation types made from recycled materials so you can be greener than ever!

8. Select Recycled Materials

One of the most commonly discussed green construction ideas is using recycled materials in the building process. This goes beyond just insulation – there are a variety of counter top and flooring options made from recycled waste that can be used in green construction.

9. Choose a Sustainable Wood Flooring

Fans of hardwood floor can make an environmentally friendly choice in selecting bamboo or cork as their flooring option. Bamboo is an extremely fast growing and abundant resource and cork is harvested from a living tree with no damage to the tree itself, making either flooring ideal for tree-huggers everywhere.

10. Avoid Harmful Fumes

One of the principles of green construction is making a space healthier for its occupants. An easy way to protect your health is to have your painter use paints or wallpaper adhesives without volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases that are emitted as the paint dries. VOCs are responsible for the light-headed effect many people experience when entering a newly painted room and can have long-term damaging effects if an individual is continuously exposed to them.

At Carolina Services Inc, we are proud to offer a range of services from designing to landscaping, constructing and painting. As you make the responsible decision to use green construction methods, contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you reach your efficiency goals.

Photo Courtesy of: Wayne National Forest