Austin Energy Green Building's™ Green
Make Your Home a Greener Place to Live
A green home is an earth and people-friendly
home, protecting the health of your family and the environment.
It's a more comfortable, durable, higher quality home. It's
easier and more economical to live in because it's low-maintenance
and energy and water efficient.
Our Green Home Checklist will help you make a more
informed choice about your home. Review
your home (since there's always room for improvement) or a
home you are interested in with this checklist in hand.
The Right Site
A site with smart landscaping is important
to help make your home comfortable, affordable and attractive.
||Water-efficient Bermuda or buffalo grass
is planted in sunny areas.
||Plants, shrubs and trees that grow successfully
in Central Texas are chosen. Use the City
of Austin Preferred Plant List as a guideline.
||Gutters and downspouts direct water away
||An irrigation system conserves water by
using devices such as manual flow-control valves, a rain
shut-off, and a timer with multiple start times.
The Right Design
Comfort and economy are possible when
a house is designed for its site and climate.
Minimal Solar Heat Gain:
The Right Exterior
||Attic has a radiant barrier below the roof
decking or between the rafters (looks like aluminum foil).
Radiant barrier is especially effective when ductwork
is in the attic.
Insulation is at least 10 inches deep
and evenly distributed. (Attic insulation if far more
important in the Central Texas climate than wall insulation.)
||Wall insulation is a type that fills every
nook and cranny, such as wet-blown cellulose.
The Right Interior
Using the right materials can improve
indoor air quality and increase comfort. Choosing energy efficient
appliances will save you money.
||Cook top has exhaust fan vented to outside.
||Laundry/utility room has exhaust fan vented to outside.
Appliances and Lights:
Efficient Heating and Cooling
||Home has an A/C with a cooling efficiency
is 12.0 SEER or higher.
||Cooling system is "the right size"
for the house. As a rule, if there are fewer than 600
sq. ft. of living space per ton of cooling, the unit is
too big or the house is not designed for this climate.
Ask a trained technician about a Manual J analysis, based
on actual design and specifications. For our climate,
oversized equipment does not run long enough to operate
efficiently or dehumidify enough comfort.
Ducts have been pressure-tested for leaks
by a qualified technician. Remember, most houses lose
about 25% of conditioned air due to leaky ducts. Leaks
cause air quality and safety problems, too.
||With AC running, no cold air drafts at the
duct joints and other connections.
The filter is accessible and easy to
||The system has a 6" wide filter cabinet
with pleated-media or electronic filter (not electrostatic).
The Right Economy
Using local businesses and products
keeps the local economy healthy, while reducing the affects
of transportation on Austin's air quality.
Regional materials such as mesquite,
native cedar, pecan wood, local brick, limestone, and
granite are used.
||Services of local artists and artisans are
used for items such as cabinetry, wall murals, and decorative
The Right Lifestyle
The right location of your home
improves your quality of life.
For more information, contact the Residential
Green Building Program.