Green Building Components

Components of Green Building

Site Selection

  • Avoid environmentally sensivitve areas
  • Choose an infill site whenever possible

Lot Design, Preparation and Development

  • Conserve natural resources
  • Minimize slope disturbance
  • Align roads with natural topography
  • Minimize soil disturbance and erosion
  • Stockpile and cover good soil for later use
  • Proper management of storm water
  • Incorporate pre-existing natural vegetation into the landscape whenever possible
  • Utilize permeable materials for parking areas, walkways and driveways

Resource Efficiency

  • Use efficient floor plan designs
  • Use detailed framing plans and detailed material takeoffs. Provide on-site cut lists for framing and sheathing material
  • Use pre-manufactured roof framing package
  • Provide a covered entry at exterior doors to prevent water intrusion and subsequent rotting of joists, sills and finishes
  • Use recommended-sized roof overhangs for the climate
  • Install gutter and downspout system to divert water 5’ away from foundation
  • Divert surface water from all sides of building
  • Employ flashing around all windows and doors
  • Use scrap building materials wherever possible
  • Use recycled-content building materials
  • Use materials manufactured from renewable resources
  • Use locally available, indigenous materials

Energy Efficiency

  • Heating system designed and duct system installed in conditioned space using ANSI/ACCA Manual D
  • Heating system sized appropriately, according to ANSI/ACCA Manual J edition
  • Third party plan review
  • Airtight building envelope
  • 2x6” exterior walls
  • Continuous thermal barrier/exterior insulation (Tyvek)
  • Spray applied cellulose insulation
  • Caulk bottom plate of exterior walls
  • Energy Star Windows appropriate for local climate
  • Windows flange sealed to sheeting
  • Sheeting and dry wall form air barriers
  • Caulk/foam all electrical, plumbing, heating penetrations between floors and to exterior
  • All duct work sealed with mastic
  • Stack Framing
  • 2 ft. on-center wall studs and roof
  • Install whole house tank-less water heater
  • Install Energy Star-labeled appliances

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Install space heating equipment and water heating equipment in isolated mechanical room or closet with an outdoor source of combustion and ventilation air
  • Install direct-vent, sealed combustion gas fireplace or no fireplace installed
  • Install carpet, carpet pad and floor covering adhesives that hold “Green Label” from Carpet and Rug Institute’s indoor air quality testing program
  • Use low or no VOC indoor paint
  • Use low VOC sealants
  • Vent kitchen range exhaust to the outside


  • Identify goals as a team
  • Provide training to team members on green development practices that will be used onsite
  • Create a checklist to be filled out onsite that contains only those targeted green development practices that will be implemented in each project

Homeowner Education/Operation and Maintenance

  • Distribution of handout/flyer stressing importance of maintenance of energy efficient features
  • Operation  and maintenance instruction for equipment and appliances
  • Explanation of the benefits of using compact fluorescent light bulbs in high usage areas
  • A list of habits/actions to optimize water and energy use
  • User-friendly maintenance checklist
  • A list of local service providers


  • Lower operating costs
  • Increased comfort
  • Improved environmental quality
  • Enhanced durability and less maintenance


For more information regarding energy-efficient green construction practices, please visit:


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