Brick by Brick: A Guide to Basic Green Building

Don’t be overwhelmed by green building options. Use our guide to navigate the most important decisions you can make to increase the sustainability of your home.


| July/August 2007



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The world of green building can seem intimidating for anyone—start researching and you’ll encounter an array of websites on the topic, thick books with technical jargon, lengthy checklists and rating systems, and a variety of material choices. But you shouldn’t be discouraged by information overload and the seemingly infinite number of things you could do. Any positive change for your home and the environment makes a difference. 

If you’re building new, several basic steps will improve your project’s eco-sensibility; if you’re already in a home, you can make simple changes now to significantly improve your house’s energy efficiency and sustainability.

Even if you’re not ready to invest in solar panels or hire a green builder, you can make eco-conscious decisions that make a difference. Change happens incrementally—often with baby steps. A gradual approach can be more effective than trying to learn and apply every green practice at once. When your initial steps are manageable and rewarding, you’re more likely to take bigger strides on your next project.

Building Blocks

Consider these eco-friendly options when you build or remodel.

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