Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to BUILD Green in 2010: Tips from the DEC

Building products made from recycled materials reduce solid waste problems, cut energy consumption in manufacturing and save on natural resource use.
Use renewable energy, passive-solar heating, daylight and natural cooling where possible.
Interior space can be optimized through careful design so that the overall building size and the resources to construct and operate it are kept to a minimum.
Low-maintenance, water-efficient landscaping saves precious water resources and lowers the need for pesticide use.
Design for future reuse and adaptability. Choose materials and components that can be reused or recycled.

Gray water from sinks and showers or clothes washers can be recycled for irrigation in some areas.
Renovate older buildings. Conscientiously renovating existing buildings is the most sustainable construction.
Energy efficient building is the way to go. Use high levels of insulation, high-performance windows and tight construction. Install high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, high-efficiency lights and appliances, water-efficient equipment and mechanical ventilation equipment.
Existing vegetation can be used to shade buildings and reduce energy consumption. Trees on the east and west sides of a building can dramatically reduce cooling loads. Hedge rows and shrubbery can block cold winter winds or help channel cool summer breezes into buildings.
Natural resources can be saved by using salvaged materials where possible. Examples include lumber, millwork, certain plumbing and hardware. Make sure these materials are safe (test for lead paint and asbestos).

For more info or DEC publications on energy and the environment: