Green Homes 101

“Green is a process, not a status. We need to think of ‘green’ as a verb, not an adjective.” — Daniel Goleman

We couldn’t agree more. Going green is a journey without a precise road map or a definitive destination. And, despite what some people might think, there’s no right or wrong way and no one can do it all. You can only do what works for you. And you should be proud of it! Our mission is to provide you with all the tools and information you’ll need on your journey to a green home. Here’s a snippet of the kinds of things you’ll find in our Green Homes 101 section:

  • Why Build Green Homes? Read this quick guide to learn about the key benefits. Beyond just being better for the planet, it’s also better for your health and for your budget.
  • Certifications – From home certifications like LEED to product certifications like Cradle to Cradle, you’re going to come across a lot of unique programs and you’ll want to make sure you understand them clearly before jumping on board. We translate the sometimes wonky policies and protocols and make each one understandable.
  • Green Homes – Eco-prefabs, eco-lux LEED homes, tiny homes, eco friendly manufactured homes, net-zero energy homes, earthships, shipping container homes, Living Building Challenge homes, Passivehaus homes, small green homes, green sustainable homes, the list goes on and on. Explore the endless inspiring options. We feature them in all their green glory to show how green can be completely gorgeous.
  • Healthy Home – Believe it or not, many conventional building materials contain chemicals that are harmful to our health. Green building uses safer, non-toxic alternatives (which exist for nearly everything), as well as other design features that promote health and well-being like natural lighting and siting in walkable neighborhoods.
  • Indoor Air Quality – People spend about 90% of their time indoors where the air is typically 3-5 times more polluted than outside (even in big cities!). Cleaning up indoor air by building and renovating right is clearly imperative for protecting occupant health in eco homes.
  • Budget Eco – Probably the #1 myth people believe about going green is that it’s more expensive. Sometimes, it’s a bit more up front, but saves you money over time. Other times, it can be cheaper right out of the gate. We’ll show you how to cut costs without cutting corners.
  • Before & After – Who doesn’t like seeing before and after photos? Not only is it interesting to see the transformation, it can be really helpful to see before pictures to get a sense of what’s possible with existing spaces. Some of our before and after pieces also include details from homeowners about the process, so you can learn from their experiences.
  • FAQs – Clearly, you’re not the first person to create a green home and you certainly won’t be the last. Check out our most frequently asked questions – and submit your own if you can’t find an answer. We’re here for you!

What You Need to Know About VOC’s in Paints

VOCs became an issue several years ago when studies showed that smog and air pollution were not exclusively caused by cars and factories, but to a large extent by chemicals off-gassing from homes. This became particularly relevant when EPA studies showed that levels of VOCs in the home were 3-5 times higher than even outdoor air in a polluted city.

13 Tips for Building an Environmentally Friendly House

Many builders and homeowners have heard the common myths about green home remodeling and building, including that it is more expensive and the materials are limited and lower quality. On the contrary, eco-friendly building and remodeling is one of the absolute best investments you can make. Building an environmentally friendly house is highly economical in the long run, paying for itself with energy savings in under a decade as well as increasing home value.

10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Want to hear some good news? According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a “global trend” and energy conservation is a top priority for people all over the planet. There are many choices of new (and old) materials which are being used in revolutionary ways.

Climate Change and the Resilient Response

In the wake of tragic wildfires, we have an imperative to rebuild more resilient, decarbonized buildings made from materials that are abundant, renewable, and healthy. We can’t bring back lives that were lost in these past events, but it’s critical we rebuild homes which will save lives in the future.

17 of the Best Books About Sustainable Home Design

Even though Elemental Green is an online resource for all things related to residential green building and renovation that doesn’t mean that we don’t love books. Here are some eco-home books packed with great inspiration and information.

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