Green Building Glossary Part 1

553383_87964828ICF’s (Insulating Concrete Forms) – Lightweight blocks, commonly made of expanded polystyrene or extruded polystyrene that are filled with concrete and remain in place to provide thermal insulation for concrete walls.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) – The LEED program was developed by the US Green Building Council as a system for rating new and existing commercial, institutional and residential buildings. It evaluates the overall environmental performance during the lifecycle of a buiding and provides a tangible methodology for analyzing the standards of a green building.

Dual Flush Toilet – Have two different settings, usually 0.8 gallons for liquid removal and 1.6 gallons for full-flush solid removal. On average, they use about 2,500 gallons per year, compared to a 1.6 single flush that uses about 4,500 gallons per year.

Energy Star – A government-backed program that sets a standard for energy efficient products in some 50 categories. Only the products that meet the strictest standards in each category earn the Energy Star label.

791869_29456663Heat Island Effect – Typically seen in urban areas, where the temperature can be several degrees hotter than it is in surrounding areas.

Daylighting – Using natural light in many different ways in a building. By using various design methods, this-light decreases reliance on electricity by using windows, skylights and solar tubes.

AFUE – An acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or the percentage of fuel a furnace uses that actually gets delivered as heat into your house.

Clean Energy – Energy created from renewable sources with low environmental impact.

Embodied Energy – Energy that is necessary to make a product. It is also the molecule energy already existing in a products content.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) – An independant organization started by environmentally concerned groups. The FSC certifies what it deems as sustainably harvested forest and wood products, including lumber, furniture woods and papers.

Earth Sheltered Design – A home or building designed to be built partially or completely  below ground, either by digging into existing

Cool Roof – Any roof made to reflect sunlight to minimize temperature and therefore reduce interior cooling costs.

Glossary of “Green” Terms

Green/Going Green – Striving to live a more sustainable life.

Environmentally Friendly/Eco-friendly – Used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment.

Organic – Refers to the way agricultural products – including foods and fibers such as cotton – are grown and processed. The word “organic” on the label stands for a commitment to an agriculture which strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials which are of low impact to the environment.

Sustainable – In an ecological context, sustainability can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.

Biodegradable – The process by which organic substances are broken down by the enzymes produced by living organisms. The term is often used in relation to ecology, waste management and environmental remediation (bioremediation). Organic material can be degraded aerobically, with oxygen, or anaerobically, without oxygen.

Carbon Footprint – A measured amount of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide which are released into the atmosphere by manufacture, transport, products, materials, activities etc. Footprints are described in CO2 equivalent grams.

Conservation – Protection and careful management of the environment and natural resources

Recycling – The collection and often reprocessing of discarded materials for reuse.

Eco-chic – The trend and fashion of being environmentally conscious and buying ‘green’ products.

Zero emissions – An engine, motor, or other energy source, that emits no waste products that pollutes the environment or disrupts the climate.

Post-Consumer – A product or material which has been recycled or reused after its original purpose has completed.

Green washing – A term used to describe the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly, such as by presenting cost cuts as reductions in use of resources.

Non-toxic – A substance which is not poisonous or hazardous to a living organism’s health, well being and survival.

Definitions were taken from The Free Dictionary and Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia.