Sustainable Fundamentals: the Green Building Pyramid

Green Builder magazine recently re-issued their Homeowner’s Handbook.  The Green Building Pyramid lays out a logical path towards efficiency and health.  We all remember the food pyramid:

What you find at the base of the Green Building Pyramid may surprise you.

How the building is placed in relation to the sun and surrounding terrain

Location:  The more driving required the less efficient the home.  A super-efficient home with a long commute is less efficient than a closer-to-work less efficient one

Education:  You have to understand what you’re doing.  Many homeowner improvements contradict sound building science or are of little or no value.

House Size:  Doubling a house size triples its energy use.  Living Large, like driving 80mph on freeway, costs a lot more.  Better to have a well-designed and detailed home

Note that none of these fundamentals involves high tech, high cost, or significant lifestyle changes.  They work in the city and the suburbs. They are universal.


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