Deck Lumber Alternatives

Composite and plastic decking lumber is an attractive yet durable, low maintenance alternative to traditional decking materials. An annual cleaning to remove dirt and mold is all these decks require. Many use recycled materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Fly Ash

Fly ash, a by-product created by burning coal, can be used as a supplement to, and a partial replacement of, portland cement in concrete thereby reducing disposal requirements, energy consumption and pollution.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters are an inexpensive way for home owners to lower the cost of heating water by replacing the cost of gas or electricity with free energy from the sun, and a variety of simple and complex systems are available.

Home Recycling

Of the millions of tons of garbage Americans produce each year it is estimated that more than 70% of it could be recycled. Additionally, purchasing products containing recycled content provides significant energy and water savings as well as reduces all types of environmental pollution.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Lighting

Electric lighting accounts for up to one-fifth of a home's energy consumption so flipping that switch is not necessarily a trivial matter, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each light source choice.

Earth Building

There are as many kinds of earth building methods as there are variations in soil and climate, and different methods are more or less suited to different conditions. But overall, this construction material is increasingly being recognized for it's green attributes.

Insulated Concrete Forms

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) can be substituted for wood framed walls as well as concrete foundations, and are becoming a competitive, durable alternative to traditional wood framing.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Concrete Floors

Concrete floors are an energy efficient and environmentally sound option for your home, and they can be finished in a wide range of attractive colors and patterns to compliment any interior or exterior design.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting, an old idea that is popular again, is a potentially viable method for achieving sustainability of water resources. Following collection, water can be used as is or filtered and treated for a source of drinking water.

A Green Home Checklist

Reviewing your present or future home with the principles of green living in mind will help you make more informed choices about home purchase or potential improvements. This checklist will assist you in your green review.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Basic Structural Insulated Panels

Structural Insulated Panels are a direct substitute for wood framing and infill insulation and offer considerable energy and resource conserving advantages.

Home Building in a Hot Climate

Building a home in a hot climate that is more comfortable for the occupants, easier on the environment and more economical to live in, takes some special considerations.

Straw Bale Construction

Stucco-covered straw bales offer a thick wall system which is durable, healthy, and fire and pest-resistant and can be an alternative to stick-frame construction for building highly insulating walls.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Deck Lumber Alternatives

Decks built of the most popular wood products, treated yellow pine, cedar or redwood, require extensive annual maintenance to keep them looking good and structurally sound. You can save yourself all that money on cleaner and sealer and all that time in maintenance by choosing a no maintenance deck material.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Low and No-VOC Paints

Paint choice should high on the list when building a green home. While paint color and finish have a major impact on the overall aesthetics of a space, the paint itself may have a major negative impact on the healthfulness of a home.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Lawn Care

Using green principles in lawn care can make a significant impact on both our environment and our water bills. Green lawn care principles can also aid in energy conservation and reduce the need for chemicals and fertilizer.

A Factsheet from Austin Energy's Green Building Program: Cooling System

Proper sizing and maintenance of your HVAC system is essential for occupant comfort and energy efficiency.

Choosing a Green Building Professional

Questions you should ask these green building professionals and the steps you should take to choose the designer or builder who is right for you are the same no matter where you live.

Green Building Glossary

If you have ever wondered about the meaning of some of the terms in green building literature, this 26 page document will provide you with an comprehensive, A to Z glossary of terms and acronyms.

Green by Design: 7 Steps to Green Building

You can't tell if a home is green just by looking at it, because your green home can be just about any style you choose. And, you can't tell a green home by the price either. You can purchase every high-efficiency gadget on the market, or you can make your house green using simple, economical materials and good design.

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