ICF’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.
Heat 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.