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Think Systems, Not Products,
When Building Green!

“Green” building doesn’t mean adding a solar panel or geothermal heating system to a building.

Those things are nice, and they can reduce a building’s carbon footprint significantly. But there are other things you can do to save energy at low or no cost.

Just think... Is your solar panel supplying electricity to 2000 watts of incandescent bulbs that could easily be replaced with compact fluorescents that only use 500 watts?

Is that geothermal heat pump connected to leaky ductwork that leaves some rooms cold while others are too hot?

It’s silly to buy geothermal without sealing your ductwork properly.

 

On the other hand, once you have thoughtfully designed your basic structure and systems for efficiency, solar and geothermal can make a lot of sense.

With the lowered energy needs of efficient construction, a modest investment in geothermal or photovoltaics can supply a big chunk of your remaining energy needs!

What strategies should one use when building green? Fortunately, several rating systems provide good guides. For Minnesota homes, the best ones are MN Greenstar and LEED for Homes.

See my Green Rating Systems Guide for more info!