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Green design and building: An added benefit
by Taylor Dardan on 05/31/11 @ 05:47:39 pm
Categories: Green Design | 432 words | 5082 views

If you use eco-friendly and green principles when designing, the construction process, not to mention the building itself, can have a number of great benefits. Many people choose to undertake green methods in design and building because of the environmental and sustainable benefits that are involved, as well as the cut in utility costs. Some are unaware that the most important benefit in green architecture and building may be the health benefits that come with the process.

In green architecture and design, much of the process is devoted to allowing more natural light and energy into the home. Aside from solar power, green design allows for as much sunlight as possible. This sunlight can have a number of great effects when it comes to health. Sunlight is necessary for the production of vitamin D, which, in addition to reducing one’s chance of depression and increasing the strength of one’s bones, can also ward off infections and lead to a longer, happier life.

The actual construction and building phase is just as important in making sure that a home is truly eco-friendly. An important part of this is the use of green insulation. Whether you are remodeling or designing a new home, organic insulation is something that can have a wealth of benefits. Many older homes are rife with toxins in their insulation, including mold, radon, and asbestos. Asbestos exposure causes severe respiratory diseases. Organic insulation provides an alternative that is completely free of toxins. This insulation not only prevents possible health issues, but contributes to high air quality as well.

Another area of eco-friendly building which is the type of paint used on the building. More often than not, regular paints are used. Unfortunately, common paints are high in volatile organic compounds. With a quick trip to the local hardware store, low-VOC, or, even better, non-VOC paints can reduce your risk of toxin exposure.

Overall, choosing to invest in green design and building principles is an excellent decision. Not only will residents reap the benefits of helping both the environment and their wallets, but they will also benefit from dwelling in a home less toxic than their neighbors. With the growth of eco friendly initiatives and the wealth of benefits involved, green design and building strategies will certainly continue to become more popular in the near future.

Guest blogger Taylor Dardan is a dedicated environmental activist and an ardent supporter of green building. He is an aspiring writer and recent college graduate who currently lives in the southeastern United States. He may be reached at dailydardan [at] gmail [dot] com

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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