The latest buzz in the residential market for architectural enthusiasts is green living. And why shouldn't green living cause such a stir? Green architecture means a cleaner environment and using cost efficient energy saving building methods. If you're looking for ideas to incorporate green architecture into your existing home, there is a lot you can do.
• Incorporate green architecture into your home by using sustainable materials for your home finishes. Items like countertops, wall surfaces, and flooring can be sustainable. Use finishes like recycled plastic, salvaged steel, and locally mined and produced stones and tiles.
• Select low toxic paints and finishes for the interior and exterior of your home.
• Use low flush toilets to conserve water usage.
• Conduct an energy audit by doing an inspection of your house and looking for any areas that might have air leaks or could use more insulation. By creating tight seals in your home and properly insulating your walls, you save on heating bills and usage. See if there is a non-profit in your area providing green building services that will conduct an energy audit for you.
• Look at the product labels. The Green Seal (www.greenseal.org) logo means products have low levels of volatile organic compounds. The Forest Stewardship Council helps promote responsible forestry standards; look for their label on lumber products.