Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture is an exciting and important field, with many people reviving traditional methods of building and others creating innovations to established practices. Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.

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Location: Crestone, Colorado, United States

Kelly Hart has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation, video production and now website development. Kelly has lived in an earthbag/papercrete home that he built and consults about sustainable building design.

October 09, 2006

7 Ways to Build Green

I recently was sent an article written by Roselind Hejl of Austin, Texas, enumerating seven ways to build green. She says "I think people need to feel that green building is not just for "tree huggers", and does not require an engineering degree. It is something that everyone can do to some extent. I have found in my real estate business that some of my clients have no idea what green building means, or of basic passive solar orientation, for example. When people begin to appreciate that green building results in long term savings and a healthier house, they will want these choices built into their homes. I want to convey a sense of the many aspects of green building, and I am learning more about it myself."

Her seven ways are:
  1. Build a passive solar design.
  2. Ventilate attic spaces.
  3. Optimize your heat and AC systems.
  4. Reduce water needs.
  5. Use renewable or recycled materials.
  6. Safeguard your site.
  7. Use safe materials.
Under each of these categories her article outlines specific suggestions. You can read about these specifics here at


Blogger Doug said...

Sometimes landscaping is an overlooked consideration in green building - in particular, the choice of garden mulch. We have a growing problem in Louisiana with cypress forests being logged for garden mulch - an indeterminate amount of it from unsustainable areas that will not regenerate. Since most of the cypress forests are on private land, the state has been slow to react. Consumers can act immediately by not buying cypress mulch.

Two websites of interest on this issue:

Report of the Science Working Group on Coastal Forests appointed by the Governor (

Save Our Cypress Coalition

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a couple of comments about the fine green building ideas in this article:

1. "Bamboo floors are made from a rapidly renewable source - bamboo is a grass that can grow several feet per day."
Bamboo is a great renewable resource, but beware. The manufacturing of bamboo flooring, which is made up of heavily glued strips of bamboo, can contain quite a lot of urea formaldehyde glue. Look for bamboo flooring that is UF-free. It is out there.

2. Look for other composite wood products that are also UF-Free. You can find plywood and particle board that contains no added formadehyde and is much better for indoor air quality and your health. (

3. Also don't discount using all wood products. Look for wood products like plywood and flooring that are FSC-certified, which means it meets the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from responsibly managed forests.

9:07 AM  

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