One Way to Build Green: Use Reclaimed Beams

Reclaimed Beams

The Straight Goods on Green Building and Energy-Efficient Home Design. Green building is the catch phrase for the creation of houses that are energy efficient and environmentally in their design and construction. …… The article expands the information about what Green building means and what is needed to build and energy efficient home. These are the four things that I feel are important considerations when trying to build Green. ( the video illustrates item #2)

Design a house that uses less energy to heat, cool, light and maintain.
Use materials that consume less energy to produce and transport are non-toxic, and can be re-cycled or safely disposed of when no longer useful.
Use building products made from materials that are not limited in supply and are quickly and easily regrown, reproduced and replaced.
Use energy sources that are readily replenished and have an unlimited supply

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Dormers Can Transform Useless Attic Space


Dormers can greatly enhance the appearance of a house, while also expanding the useful living space on the second floor. A standard attic that might otherwise be only good for storage can be dramatically transformed into delightful living space that is loaded with character. Rooms carved out of the space under the house roof framing…

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Passive Solar House Design Can Be a Part of Any House

Passive Solar

Simply put, a passive solar house is a house that heats and cools itself without the aid of a furnace or air conditioner and has no solar electric system. Think of a frigid, but sunny, day when your car had been parked in the sun and when you got in you were pleasantly surprised that…

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Solar Orientation Impacts a Home’s Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Solar Orientation

I was sitting in the Baltimore Washington International airport recently and I was emphatically (and painfully) reminded of the importance of proper solar orientation in building design. Whoever designed this airport must have been tone deaf to solar orientation. And they probably never heard of passive solar design. Concourses A and B in the airport…

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Wearing Passive Solar Design

Solar Position

It’s freezing cold across much of the United States. Are you wearing passive solar clothes to stay warm? I know it sounds like an odd question. We tend to think of using solar design for houses, not clothes. I’ll explain. If you know it’s a cold day, do you think about what you’re going to…

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4 Passive Solar Benefits of Metal Roofing

Metal Roof

When you get dressed in the morning, do you consider passive solar design principles? Probably not. At least not conciously. But I’ll bet you consider the weather as you choose what to wear? I do. If it’s going to be hot and sunny, I usually choose a light colored shirt that is made from a fabric…

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Passive Solar Design – Free Energy

Passive Solar Design

Today, we awoke to a freak snowstorm here in Raleigh, North Carolina. I say “freak” because any snow is a rare occurrence in this part of the country. Snow in January is a novel concept in the southeast. Everything, and I mean everything was closed. We were crippled by Mother Nature.  When the flakes stopped…

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“Green” Mansions: Building Green – Part Three

Green Mansions 3

An even simpler way to think about how to situate parts of a house with regard to climate and weather is to imagine yourself standing outside on your property on a sunny, windy winter day. To stay warm, you would naturally turn away from the north wind and face the southern sun. You might even…

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“Green” Mansions: Building Green – Part Two

Green Mansions 2

Houses built in northern climates should be designed to capture natural light, to brighten and warm the rooms used during daylight hours. Winters can be gloomy and light deprivation can cause a wintertime depression. By simply allowing as much daylight into the house as possible, a properly oriented house can relieve these symptoms and lower…

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