Green Building is not a fad, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.  Reports of increased expense relates to implementation of alternative energy sources/systems such as photovoltaic arrays, geothermal, and others. A building can be certified economically by using good building practice, attention to detail, and planning the project completely (including land/lot development) before the first blade of grass is touched.

Building systems offer green benefits because the design work must be completed before the components can be built.  The decision-making process is accelerated and moved ahead of action.  Applying this mindset is fundamental to all the areas that are addressed through green building certification.  The process of using building systems gains points toward certification through planning and documentation in the plans or construction material which are followed from plant production through site assembly.  More points can be picked up by prefabrication, certifications (e.g., wood products from sustainable forest initiatives),

Paying attention to the site prior to disturbing any portion of it is a key element to maximizing the green benefits in section 5 of the ICC 700 standard.  With a strong point count for land developments and building systems, a Silver certification in the National Green Building Program  is very realistic.  Focusing on EPA programs (Energy Star, WaterSense, Indoor AirPlus adds even more points as does owner training and education via a good Owner’s Manual and video of the home in process.  For a successful project, keep an eye on product certifications and make sure that connecting products are compatible.

Exploring Projects Around the Globe

For someone who has spent a career focusing on one- and two-family dwellings, I appreciate the creativity of those who promote timber design and construction on a larger scale. This blog will be updated as I come across more articles of such spectacular work as is...

Certification Levels and Real Estate

As we all know real estate appraisals are huge in the housing market, but many things that make a home energy efficient can not actually be seen which makes it hard to compare homes apples to apples. We may see this change in the near future. The Appraisal Institute...

103% Increase in the Number of HERS Rated Net Zero Energy Homes from 2013 to 2015

Since the development of the 2009 ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), I have been promoting certification of log homes through EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program ( With the 2015 IECC comes a new compliance path via Section 406 Energy Rating...

Revisiting Clay-Based Construction Materials

I came across this article by Damon Embling, on Europe's construction industry cutting carbon emissions and energy consumption by revisiting clay-based construction materials. It was too good not to share: The concept of building with biomaterials is nothing new – mud...

Water Efficiency and Innovation

I recently came across an article that brought me upon NexusHaus. The article focused on the water-saving element of their submission to the DOE Solar Decathlon. They came in 4th overall, but I found the solution for water efficiency in an arid region exceptional. Not...

Granite State Builder, Green Building column

The Granite State Builder is the periodical of the NH Home Builders Association. Columns include:
– Oversight & Inspection
– Integrating Solar
– Preparing for the 2015 IRC
– Improving a Green Wall System
– Ventilation – A Different Issue in the World of Energy Codes
– Building Systems for Green Building
– Is Green Building Good for Conservation Land Development?
– Green Building Product Evaluation