l Design an energy-efficient building. Use high levels of insulation, high-performance windows and tight construction.
l Design buildings to use renewable energy. Incorporate passive solar heating, daylighting and natural cooling.
l Design water-efficient, low-maintenance landscaping. Landscape with drought-resistant native plants and perennial groundcovers.
l Choose low-maintenance building materials. Use building materials that require little painting, retreatment, waterproofing, etc., or whose maintenance will have minimal environmental impact.
l Buy building products made from recycled materials. They reduce solid waster problems, cut energy consumption in manufacturing and save on natural resource use.
l Seek responsible wood supplies. Use lumber from independently certified well-managed forests. Avoid lumber products from old-growth timber unless they are certified.
l Install high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. It saves the building occupants money and produces less pollution.
l Install high-efficiency lights and appliances. Fluorescent lighting has improved in recent years and is now suitable for homes.
l Install water-efficient equipment. Water-conserving toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators reduce water use as well as demand on septic systems or sewage treatment plants.
l Make education part of your daily practice. Use the design and construction process to educate clients, employees, subcontractors and the general public about environmental impacts of buildings and how these impacts can be minimized.
Source: Environmental Building News