Green Builder Media Logo

WINNER, "BEST WEBSITE," 2015 and 2016 (NAREE)

ABOUT • CONTACT • SUBSCRIBE • ADVERTISE • PRESS ROOM

Sustainable Landscaping in the Suburbs

Posted by Juliet Grable

Apr 14, 2016 7:27:31 PM

An inspiring project outside of Portland, Oregon, illustrates the potential for transforming suburban lawns into biodiverse sustainable landscapes.

Stone and vegetation work together to create a landscape that is both stimulating and calm. Over 1,000 plants were planted to replace lawn areas.

Read More

5 Summer Energy Efficiency Myths

Posted by RESNET

May 27, 2015 4:35:00 PM

Hot summers can lead to high energy bills, but not if your home is energy efficient!

But some energy efficient practices are simply myths and won’t help you reduce your energy bill at all. Here are 5 of the most common summer energy efficiency myths:

Read More

Landscaping with Trees

Posted by Juliet Grable

Mar 27, 2015 2:55:15 PM

Trees are a site’s biggest asset. These guidelines will help you protect and manage them through a construction project and beyond.

ASIDE FROM ADDING beauty to landscapes, trees perform several vital functions. They help stabilize soils, absorb rainwater and reduce the velocity and volume of rainwater hitting concrete and other impervious surfaces. They provide shade, especially on south and west façades; in the dry climate of the Southwest, for example, a shade tree can lower temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Trees also block wind, especially when planted near north façades. And they capture and store carbon.

Read More

Lawns Are Not Carbon Neutral, Contrary to Industry Claims

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Feb 17, 2015 12:22:33 PM

When you look at the entire yard maintenance impact, lawns don't counterract the CO2 pollution they absorb.

ACCORDING TO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SUE REED, author of Energy Wise Landscape Design, the results of one study from 2008, titled  “Technical Assessment of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Managed Turfgrass in the United States,” has been taken as gospel by major chemical and equipment producers. It suggested that “well-managed lawns capture four times more carbon from the air than is produced by today’s typical lawnmower.”

This would be good news for all involved, if it were the complete story, but as Reed points out (link below), the study ignores the big picture of lawn chemical additives and maintenance. The uncounted environmental costs include:

  • Manufacture and Transport of Fertilizers and Weed Killers
  • Irrigation and Watering
  • Manufacture of Mowers, Edgers and other Equipment
Read More

Beware Your Garden May Be Organic and Poisonous

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Nov 13, 2014 12:58:14 PM

Read More

"Natural" Swimming Pools Work Best in Warm Climates

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Nov 8, 2014 11:11:00 AM

It's time to address the overuse of chemicals in our nation's backyard pools.

JAMES ROBYN LIKES TO SHOW PEOPLE A PHOTO of a natural swimming pool next to a conventional chlorine model. It was built in Germany for customers who couldn’t decide which they wanted. The difference is striking. The natural pool is a green-hued swimming hole bordered by a water garden, a stark contrast to the conventional model’s blue sterility. “We call the chlorine pool the Windex pool,” he says.

Read More

ICC and ASABE Announce New Landscape Irrigation Sprinkler Standard

Posted by ICC

Nov 4, 2014 11:42:47 AM

The International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) announce the release of a new ANSI consensus standard to classify sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, set uniform testing procedures, and establish minimum design and performance requirements for commercial and residential landscape irrigation components.

Read More

Water Conservation by Stormwater Management

Posted by Juliet Grable

Sep 8, 2014 3:18:51 PM

We've let our stormwater get away from us. These water conservation practices can help clean it up and encourage it to stick around.

STORMWATER RUNOFF is rain or snowmelt that flows over the land without percolating into the soil. Stormwater occurs naturally, especially during large rain events, but nature’s sponge—the water-absorbing cover of trees, shrubs and other vegetation hugging our planet—usually takes care of the rest. Unfortunately, we’ve turned our world into a hard place. Paved sidewalks, asphalt parking lots, concrete curbs, streets, driveways, roofs and building facades—all of these impervious surfaces change the natural movement of water over the landscape, and increase the volume, speed and temperature of the runoff.

Read More

A Pool Without Poisons

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 4, 2014 7:41:00 AM

SWIMMING POOLS ARE A PROBLEMATIC REALITY of modern housing. In some regions, a house without a pool will be a tough sell. But conventional pools have many environmental down sides. They require chemicals such as chlorine, which are toxic in their production, and if they're not rainwater fed, huge amounts of treated water from the local utility. Heating and lighting them, of course, also add environmental costs, although there are ways to reduce outdoor lighting costs and use geothermal systems heat pool water.

Read More

Front Yard Gardens: Fighting City Hall Pays Off

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Aug 28, 2014 3:11:00 AM

It's the last resting place of the over-fertilized, over-watered, high maintenance American lawn. But understandably, an increasing number of Americans want that valuable real estate back. They want to build gardens in their front yard.

Read More

Landscaping for Energy Efficiency

Posted by RESNET

Aug 4, 2014 9:08:00 AM

Read More

Historic El Chorro Restaurant Remodels into LEED Gold

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Jul 10, 2014 11:48:00 AM

How does one remodel a treasured historic building without losing its charm? How does one remodel historic buildings into Gold Certified LEED?

Read More

Greening Suburbia

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 20, 2014 2:11:00 PM

  EXCLUSIVE GB INTERVIEW 

Greening Suburbia

Wildlife ecologist Mark Hostetler, maps out how to transition suburbs from treated lawns and invasive plants to oases of biodiversity.

By Green Builder Staff

Read More
facebook twitter youtube linkedin pinterest google
Download Green Builder's Homeowners' Handbook
Green Builder's 2016 Eco-Leaders
Western Window Systems
Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy

Add a comment...