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 Green Home

 Design & New



 Listen to Amy's


 Building Materials



 Things to think

 about when

 building Green

 New Construction


 Using Sustainable

 Building Materials

Green Home Design & Construction


New construction provides many opportunities to apply green building practices. Besides providing better indoor air quality and higher energy efficiency homes, you have the opportunity to help the environment.


Many new construction homes are being built green. In 2012, 42% of new construction homes built in Seattle were built green.  As of September 2013, we’re at about 43%, but building green is becoming more mainstream through education and awareness.*


The more common green building becomes, the more affordable it is.  Depending on the choices you make and the experience of your builder it could cost approximately 2-5% more.  Some builders say they can build a green home for the same cost per square footage as a traditional home because by implementing green building techniques from the beginning you save money on the design.**


One of the first steps when thinking about building new construction is site orientation & design.  The way your home sits on the lot is extremely important.  Where your house sits compared to the sun can drastically reduce heating and cooling costs, give you more light, and increase the marketability and resale of your home.  You can still build a deep green, high performance, super insulated home even if your house doesn't face south. Ideally, the roof line of your house should face south to capture maximum sunlight.


A homes building envelope requires the largest quantity of materials compared to any other part of the structure. When building new construction, you have the opportunity to use building techniques such as advanced framing which reduces lumber needed to frame a structure, and allows deeper insulation to fill the walls and reduce thermal bridging. Thermal bridging occurs in a home where materials used had poor insulating properties.



Interior systems are a critical element in green home design. It is common for people to believe that you don’t want a tight home because it needs to breathe. But if you make it tight, you have to insulate properly.

A tight building envelope requires a ventilation system for indoor air quality and moisture control. If you do advanced framing and deeper insulation, you will likely not even need an additional heat source because your body heat and movement along with the fact that no air is leaking from the building and it maintains temperatures.


Ventilation can be achieved by having a Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV). These bring fresh air into a building & improve climate control.  The job of an HRV system is to keep heat in and move stale air out.  They normally have two fans, one to take out household air and the other to bring in fresh air.  This is done in the heat exchange core.  It takes the heat from the air leaving the house and transfers it to the fresh air coming into the house.  The air streams never mix but the heat is transferred and comes into your house at the temperature you have it set to.

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* (Research done by Green Canopy Homes through NWMLS data)

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