Sustainable or “green building” design and construction is the opportunity to use our resources more efficiently, while creating healthier and more energy-efficient homes.
One of the key elements of the building envelope is insulation because it can help dictate comfort for the family. Use of insulation helps create the peace of mind that comes with knowing we have made an investment that not only serves our family, but is energy and cost-efficient. A variety of plastic products may be the solution for the home, including housewraps and foams: spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and rigid foams made with polyurethane (Polyiso), extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS).
Geothermal heating and cooling is cost effective because it uses renewable underground energy, in an extremely efficient manner. In the heating season, a Geothermal System will absorb approximately 75% of the energy from the ground and the remaining 25% would come from the electrical grid. For this reason, GSHP Systems are considered, very environmentally friendly and many government agencies endorse geothermal technologies. Geothermal Systems are the most energy efficient heating and cooling systems available.
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis.
Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air. These advantages are global. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared".