Thursday, August 30, 2007

Green homes going mainstream

Many energy-consumption problems can be addressed with simple tweaks to conventional house design, according to the founder of eco-friendly home design company Michelle Kaufmann Designs. Windows and sliding glass doors placed on opposite walls, for instance, allow the sun to more evenly wash a room with light and eliminate contrast, which reduces the need for electrical light during the day.... Similarly, a glass wall can make a room seem bigger than it is, which cuts down on the need for McMansion-size family rooms and therefore the amount of raw materials required for building the home in the first place.

"Where you get the most bang for your buck are things like (window placement) that save energy but don't cost more," she said.

...Mainstream developers such as Centex Homes, Lennar Corporation and The Grupe Company have also begun to emphasize green features in their homes, particularly as concerns about electricity grow and housing sales stagnate.

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