Make Your Existing or Future Home a Greener Place to Live
THE RIGHT SITE
- A site with smart landscaping is important to help make your home comfortable, affordable and attractive.
- Water-efficient bermuda or buffalo grass is planted in sunny areas.
- Plants, shrubs and trees that grow successfully in Northern California.
- Gutters and downspouts direct water away from house.
- An irrigation system conserves water by using devices such as manual flow-control valves, a rain shut-off, and a timer with multiple start times.
THE RIGHT DESIGN
- Comfort and economy is possible when a house is designed for its site and climate.
- Minimal Solar Heat Gain:
- Longest walls face north and south.
- Most windows face north and south.
- Most windows are shaded on the outside by overhangs, covered porches, awnings, trees, trellises, or pergolas.
- Garage and least-used rooms are positioned on west side as buffers from the west sun.
- Maximum Ventilation:
- Most windows are operable and positioned for cross breezes.
- Most rooms have windows on two walls.
- High, centrally-located, operable windows enable hot air to move up and vent to the outside.
THE RIGHT EXTERIOR
Cool Shell and Attic:
- Light colored paint, siding, and roofing are used.
- A continuous vent strip runs underneath the roof overhang to let air into the attic.
- Roof ridge has a continuous strip of venting or several passive vents close to the ridge.
- Attic insulation does not block air flow path between roof overhang vents and ridge vents.
- Attic has a radiant barrier below the roof decking or between the rafters (looks like aluminum foil). Radiant barrier is especially effective when ductwork is in the attic.
- Exterior wall material is low maintenance (brick, stone, stucco, cement board).
- Roof has forty-year life (metal or tile).
- Decks are made of materials that have at least a 10-year life (not solid wood).
- Insulation is at least 10 inches deep and evenly distributed
- Wall insulation is a type that fills every nook and cranny, such as wet-blown cellulose.
- Unshaded windows have solar screens or low-e glass (except on the north side).
- Window frames are wood, vinyl or fiberglass.
THE RIGHT INTERIOR
Using the right materials can improve indoor air quality and increase comfort. Choosing energy efficient appliances will save you money.
- Flooring is mostly a hard surface, such as concrete, tile or wood.
- Other flooring materials are natural wool, jute, sea grass, cork or true linoleum.
- No vinyl wallpaper is used in the home.
- Bath has exhaust fan vented to outside.
- Cook top has exhaust fan vented to outside.
- Laundry/utility room has exhaust fan vented to outside.
Efficient Appliances and Lights:
- Water heating has a 10-year warranty.
- An Energy Guide Label that indicates the appliance is in the top 25% of the efficiency scale.
- Exterior lights have light and motion detectors to conserve energy.
Efficient Heating and Cooling:
- Ceiling fans in all major rooms.
- Home has a whole-house fan to exhaust heat.
- Home has a programmable thermostat.
- Home has an A/C with a cooling efficiency is 12.0 SEER or higher.
- Ducts have been pressure-tested for leaks by a qualified technician. Remember, most houses lose about 25% of conditioned air due to leaky ducts. Leaks cause air quality and safety problems, too.
- The filter is accessible and easy to change.
- The system has a 6″ wide filter cabinet with pleated-media or electronic filter (not electrostatic).
THE RIGHT ECONOMY
- Using local businesses and products keeps the local economy healthy, while reducing the affects of transportation on air quality.
- Regional materials of local artists and artisans are used for home items.
THE RIGHT LIFESTYLE
- The right location of your home improves your quality of life.
- The home is conveniently located for activities, such as work, school, entertainment, recreation, and public transportation.
- Traffic allows safe walking and biking.