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Understanding a topic often starts with learning the vocabulary, and green building and design is no different. These terms should have you speaking the language in no time.

Durability:Select products that are long lasting and require little maintenance.

Embodied energy:
Consider how much energy was required to extract, process, package, transport, install, and recycle or dispose of materials that make up your home. Up to 70 percent of the total energy invested in a building’s construction is embodied in the materials themselves.

Energy smart:Meeting your energy needs cost effectively and with the least impact on the environment.


Envelope: The skin of a building—including the windows, doors, walls, foundation, basement slab, ceilings, roof, and insulation—that separates the interior of a building from the outdoor environment.


Environmental impact:Avoid materials that pollute the environmental quality inside your home and damage the outdoor environment and atmosphere.


Footprint:Land area taken up by a building.

Fossil fuels:Carbon-rich deposits in the earth, such as petroleum (oil), coal, or natural gas, derived from the remains of ancient plants and animals and used for fuel.


Geothermal energy:Heat that comes from the Earth's interior.


Off-gassing:The release of gas into the air from products treated with chemicals during their manufacture.


Off-the-Grid:A term used to describe a system that runs on renewable energy sources independent of a conventional public utility grid.


Net Metering:The difference between the amount of electricity you use from the power company, and that which is returned to them from your solar photvoltaic system.

Photovoltaic cell:A device that converts sunlight into electricity.


Prefabricated:Standardized building sections that are created in a factory to be shipped and assembled in another location.


Radiant heating:An efficient heating system that warms cold objects,which then radiate heat into the surrounding space evenly.


Renewability:Choose natural materials that are rapidly renewable, such as fast-growing trees and agricultural products.


Renewable energy:Energy derived from sources that do not deplete natural resources. Examples include solar, wind, and geothermal energy from the Earth’s core.

Reusability:Seek out products that can be reused or recycled once they are no longer needed or operable.


Sustainability:Meeting the needs of the present without depleting resources or harming natural cycles for future generations.



Copyright 2012 Ronald Sauve All Rights Reserved

This page was last modified on April 06, 2012  

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