The Home Building Industry's Technical Information Resource

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Did You Know?

You can increase the value of your next remodeling project by including energy efficiency improvements. Learn how with Energy Efficiency Improvements for Remodeling Projects.

For homebuilders, green building means the resource-efficient design, construction, and operation of homes. It is an approach to building and marketing homes that highlights environmental quality.

Innovative Products & Processes - Technology Inventory [Back to Top]

Consider using the products below to take advantage of their potential to provide one or more of the following in the homes you build: Affordability, Energy Efficiency, Quality & Durability, Environmental Performance, and Safety.

Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment
High Efficiency Air Conditioners without HCFC
Insulated Vinyl Siding
Intumescents - Fire Inhibiting Finishes
Kitchen Recycling Center
Low Impact Development (LID) Practices for Storm Water Management
Low- or No-VOC Paints, Finishes and Adhesives
Permeable Pavement
Rainwater Harvesting
Rammed Earth, Adobe, Cob & Soil-Cement
Recycled Content Carpet
Recycled Wood Flooring
Recycled Wood/Plastic Composite Lumber
Residential Green Roof Systems
Steel Framing
Straw-Bale Construction
Strawboard Panels
Wind Power Generator
Wood Flooring From Rapidly-Renewable Species
Wood Preservatives - Low Toxicity

Design & Construction Guides [Back to Top]

Guides for designing and building various types of construction

Advanced Wall Framing: Build efficiently, use less material, and save energy!
Efficient Lighting Strategies - Wise Design Choices Can Meet Lighting Needs and Save Energy
Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Tips for New and Existing Homes
Environmentally Green... Economically Green: Tools for a Green Land Development Program
First Things First: Considering Green Land Development
Green Building Educator's Toolkit
Green Land Development: Save Money and the Environment
Guide to Developing Green Builder Programs
Guides to Low Impact Development
Innovative Site Utility Installation
Passive Solar Design
Permeable Pavement - ToolBase TechSpecs
Retrofitting Apartment Buildings to Conserve Water: A Guide for Managers, Engineers, and Contractors
Solar Water Heating
Spot Ventilation - Source Control to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Summary of Existing Green Building Programs
Tech Set 10: The PATH Guide to Green Building
Tech Set 6: The Sun in the 21st Century Home
Tech Set 8: Green Kitchen Remodel
Water Conservation Overview of Retrofit Strategies: A Guide for Apartment Owners and Managers
Best Practices [Back to Top]

General recommendations and accepted practices

Green Building Resource Directory

Performance Reports & Case Studies [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Accelerating the Adoption of Vacuum Insulation Technology in Home Construction, Renovation, and Remodeling This document reports on the progress made toward developing applications that take advantage of VIP technology.
Added Cost of Greening a New Home A case study of how the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC) house would have rated in the National Green Building Standard and the costs involved with that rating.
Advanced Framing: An Examination of its Practical Use in Residential Construction The case study highlights the advantages of and barriers to widespread adoption of OVE practices.
Assessment of Radon Mitigation Methods in Low-Rise Residential Buildings This report provides an assessment of methods for radon mitigation in low-rise buildings, specifically on the success of mitigation systems that have already been developed.
Building Greener, Building Better: The Quiet Revolution This publication highlights green building advancements and home builders' achievements, and outlines this next wave in home building and land development.
Field Test and Demonstration of Radon Prevention Techniques in New Homes This final report describes the results of a field test and demonstration of radon prevention techniques in new homes.
Insulating Concrete Forms for Residential Construction Demonstration Homes This study examines construction methods, builder perceptions, homeowner perceptions, costs, thermal performance, and energy efficiency, as these issues are impacted by the decision to use an ICF product.
Life Cycle Assessment Tools to Measure Environmental Impacts: Assessing Their Applicability to the Home Building Industry This report presents a critique of Life Cycle Assessment tools, and offers suggestions on how they could be made more useful.
Passive Radon-Resistant Construction Performance in Ventilated Crawl Space Homes Results of tests of passive - vapor barrier with vent stack - radon control techniques. Conducted on homes with crawl spaces in a variety of locations in the US.
Preliminary Study of Pollutants in Two Unoccupied New Homes This study was conducted to gain further understanding of pollutant types, indoor air quality (IAQ) and strengths attributable to building products and materials.
Report on the Feasibility of Deconstruction An investigation of deconstruction activity in four cities: El Paso, TX; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI;and Nashville, TN.
Seasonal Performance of Passive Radon Resistant Features in New Single Family Homes A set of demonstration homes were built with many of the radon-resistant construction features recommended by the EPA in EPA Model Standards and Techniques for Control of Radon in New Residential Buildings.
TechPractices: EcoVillage at Ithaca, Ithaca, NY By using an inventive arrangement of distribution systems, homes can be designed and constructed to generate low energy bills but maintain high indoor air quality.
TechPractices: Greenlee Park, McStain Enterprises, Boulder, CO Greenlee Park, completed in 1997, is the first environmentally sustainable development built by McStain Enterprises, and has since had a big impact on how this company (which averages 250 units a year) builds homes.
TechPractices: Hillside Oaks, Carl Franklin Homes, Dallas, TX What happens when you combine the technology of structural insulated panels with a geothermal heat pump system that costs less to operate and maintain than conventional HVAC systems?
TechPractices: Island Presentation Partnership, Dewees Island, SC Combining local climatic responses with new materials, Dewees Island contains a growing population while protecting its sensitive ecosystems.
TechPractices: Medallion Homes, San Antonio, TX Medallion Homes, a San Antonio home building company, is committed to constructing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes at an affordable price.
TechPractices: Medallion Homes, The Craftsman, San Antonio, TX Medallion Homes builds a low-energy, low-maintenance home through an environmentally-conscious design with a simple charm.
TechPractices: NEDCO, Field of Dreams, Eugene, OR The Field of Dreams residential community, completed in Eugene, Oregon, combines ingenuity at several levels of project delivery.
TechPractices: Stone Ledge, Leakwood, KS With "totally maintenance-free living," this small developer went after a small but discriminating market to show there's always a demand for well-built homes.

Field Evaluations [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Habitat for Humanity - Schenectady
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC)
Model reMODEL
Shea Homes
Summerset Development Company

Questions & Answers [Back to Top]

Frequently asked questions, answered by home building professionals

How can I become a Green Home Builder?
How can I locate a manufacturer who has expertise in green design to help me purchase a modular home?
How do I get information on green building techniques for the structure and lots when building houses in a subdivision?
How do I get information on green land development?
How much material is typically wasted in the construction of a home?
I am considering building a home that is near an electrical substation. What is the current research regarding electromagnetic fields?
I’ve been told my siding is asbestos. Will I have to replace it and, if so, what will I need to do?
We are concerned about radon in our houses. What should we do?
We are remodeling a house on a 200x230 ft lot in a rural area. The septic system is over 40 years old and it must be completely redone. How can I get information on the concept of constructed wetlands to replace the failing system?
What are some common sources of indoor air pollutants, and how can I minimize the pollutants?
What are the best products to use when building a green home?
What can I do to reduce the amount of materials that goes into my home?
What do I need to know before beginning construction of a green home?
What do I need to know when renovating a home that contains lead paint?
What mortgage companies are participating in the Green Building Program? What does one do to qualify our products for the Green Building Program?
What types of home construction materials can be recycled?
What types of low- or no-cost things can I do to “green” my existing home?
What types of things will help keep my renovation green?
Where can I find green building products?
Where can I get information about constructed wetlands?
Where can I go for information on ways to reduce the impact of development on the environment?

Web Links [Back to Top]

Recommended Web resources for additional information