What is Green Building?

Although Green Building is fundamentally about limiting environmental destruction, its also about making a healthy, comfortable environment inside the home.  Green buildings can use normal materials and look very conventional, or use very uncommon materials and look quite unusual, and anything in-between.

The focus of The Sensible House is on building homes with lower environmental impact that are also highly desirable places to live.  Most of this site is about modifications to conventional construction, although not exclusively.

Here is a quick list of some of the main ideas :

  • Super insulation - it uses much less energy than is required by code
  • Passive solar - the house takes advantage of solar energy
  • Healthy house - avoid toxins, mold problems.  Provide ventilation.
  • Not so big - build only the space you use frequently
  • Function - the house is designed around the way is really used
  • Materials - it attempts to use materials as sustainably as possible
Green building also introduces two changes to the  process of design & construction:
  • Design as a system - all the piece are designed to work together
  • Work with nature - design for your climate, take advantage of sun and wind

These ideas are usually put into the following five categories: click on the link for a short description of each of the ideas.  A complete, detailed description of these ideas and how to apply them to green building is in the theory section.