Home Design and Construction Websites

Resources for building smart, energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable, sustainable houses

Use this collection of websites to get your bearing on how great houses are designed, built, and certified for energy efficiency and sustainability. The organizations and publications listed below represent the country's top authorities on high-performance home building, and are the best resources to educate yourself on the latest quality and performance standards and cutting-edge technologies used in residential construction.

Rating Systems and Rebates

Passive House:  
Passive House is a certification system and set of design principles based on a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency. “Maximize your gains, minimize your losses” summarizes the approach. 
www.passivehouse.us

LEED for Homes:
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.
new.usgbc.org/leed

Zero Energy Project:
The Zero Energy Project is a non-profit educational organization whose goal is to help home buyers, builders, designers, and real estate professionals take meaningful steps towards radically reducing carbon emissions and energy bills by building zero net energy homes and near zero energy homes.
zeroenergyproject.org

International Living Future Institute (ILFI):
The ILFI's Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal for the built environment.
living-future.org

National Green Building Standard (NGBS):
The NGBS was developed in a partnership with the ASHRAE, the International Code Council (ICC), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to provide a uniform national platform for recognizing and advancing green residential construction.
ngbs.com

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS):
The HERS Index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance.
www.resnet.us/energy-rating

ENERGY STAR:
ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. 
www.energystar.gov

DSIRE:
DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on state and federal incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States.
www.dsireusa.org


Building Science Websites

BuildingGreen.com
Since 1985, BuildingGreen has been a trusted source on healthy and sustainable design and construction strategies.
www.buildinggreen.com

GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
Green Building Advisor is dedicated to providing the most useful, accurate, and complete information about designing, building, and remodeling energy-efficient, sustainable, and healthy homes.
www.greenbuildingadvisor.com

BuildingScience.com
A free online resource owned and operated by Building Science Corporation, BuildingScience.com is full of articles, research papers, and case studies focused on the design and construction of buildings that are healthier, less energy-consuming, and more durable and economical.
buildingscience.com

EnergySmiths.com
Browse the resources and case studies pages from this consulting firm devoted to helping people create buildings and communities that connect us to the natural world, relying on sustainable systems that support both human and planetary health.
www.energysmiths.com

 

Green Product Sources

The Center for Green Building, CT
Center for Green Building's mission is to provide healthy and environmentally friendly products that are safe for you and your home.
www.centerforgreenbuilding.com

Green Demolitions
Green Demolitions is North America’s premier luxury recycler for kitchens, high-end renovation items, showroom displays, and new-in-box overstocks.
greendemolitions.com

Habitat ReStore
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
www.habitat.org/restores

475 High Performance Building Supply
475 provides essential building knowledge and components to help make more durable, resilient, ecological, and energy-efficient buildings that optimize occupant comfort and health.
foursevenfive.com

Energy Federation, Inc.
EFI offers high quality products that help people to use our planet’s limited energy and water resources wisely.
www.energyfederation.org

 

Magazines, Media, Books

 

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