AL 3.0 hours Building Green Course Syllabus
3.0 Elective Hours
Traditional home construction can be disastrous for the environment. It can involve deforestation, ground water disruptions, heat island creation, wetland drainage, and wildlife destruction. A sustainable site minimizes environmental degradation while adding value financial, functional, and aesthetic—to the site. To maximize the sustainability of a home, you should make careful considerations to site characteristics, availability of resources, environmental sensitivity of the land, home design, local building codes, impact of construction on the environment, and resale value of the home.
A site's characteristics impact the home's design, long-term operational costs, comfort-level, and value as well as the environment. Lots that have flat to moderate slopes are more suitable than steeply sloping lots. Steep lots may require tree and soil removal. Lots with trees can provide shading for the home, which can reduce energy costs from air conditioning. Lots situated near existing infrastructure like utility lines and roads will minimize the home's ecological footprint by reducing the need to create longer driveways, sewer lines, and utility lines.
Lot choice is essential to green home design and construction. Five factors that impact site selection are the impact of construction on the environment, local building codes, environmental sensitivity of the land, proximity to community resources, and the resale value of the home. This course discusses characteristics of eco-friendly sites.