Everyone will concur that we all need clean air and water, and most people can agree that it is inappropriate to waste energy and excessively pollute our environment. However, most people don’t think about how their every day actions have a ripple effect. These seemingly “inconsequential” actions can have distinctly negative consequences for our environment

At GreenHome Homes, Realtors & Property Management we believe that real estate professionals can play a significant role in addressing the environmental impact of our homes. According to studies, over 50% of all negative impact to the environment is caused by households…significantly higher than vehicles emissions.

We encourage each and every person to make choices in the purchase, renovation and day to day management of her or his home. We encourage homeowners to make choices that will result in the use of less energy, fewer natural resources and fewer toxic chemicals. Ultimately, this increases their financial bottom line with greater savings and, more importantly, a much healthier lifestyle.

1/FEW FEATURES OF SUSTAINABLE OR ECO-FRIENDLY HOMES
A. Energy Audited Homes

A home energy audit is simply a home survey or assessment service where the energy efficiency of a house is evaluated either by a household member or a third party using professional equipment (such as door blowers and infrared cameras), with the aim to suggest the best ways to effectively improve energy retention in the house.

A home energy audit is often used to identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of buildings.

In addition, homes may qualify for energy efficiency grants .

B. Certified Energy Star Homes

ENERGY STAR certified homes are designed and built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical homes. A home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delivering better quality, better comfort, and better durability.You will usually find the certification in the electrical panel of the home.

C. Energy Star Appliance Homes

Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America. Devices carrying the Energy Star service mark, such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, and other kitchen appliances generally use 20%–30% less energy than required by federal standards.

D. Graywater “Homes”

Graywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Graywater differs from water from the toilets which is designated sewage or blackwater to indicate it contains human waste.Domestic graywater is often used to provide water for non-potable water applications (such as toilets) or to provide additional water to outdoor landscaping.

E. Multi-pane Window Homes

Multi-pane windows, with the space between panes filled with air or gas, reduce heat transference.Therefore, in winter, your home stays warm and cozy with less energy use.In the summer, exterior high heat is prohibited from radiating into your new home, making cooling more energy efficient.

In recent years, many new home contractors upgraded to multi-pane windows that feature “low e glass” to increase insulation rating. Low e stands for “low emissivity,” which describes a surface that emits low radiant energy.

Combining double and/or triple pane windows with low e glass will save you hundreds of dollars annually on your energy bills.

In recent years, many new home contractors upgraded to multi-pane windows that feature “low e glass” to increase insulation rating. Low e stands for “low emissivity,” which describes a surface that emits low radiant energy.

Combining double and/or triple pane windows with low e glass will save you hundreds of dollars annually on your energy bills.

F. Hot Water Recirculation Pump Homes

A hot water recirculation pump is a water pump that is attached to a water heater that pumps hot water throughout a house’s hot water lines to make sure that there is always hot water available at the faucet.Recirculation pumps eliminate the need for home owners to turn on a faucet and wait for hot water to pour out of the tap and eliminates the unnecessary waste of water waiting for hot water.

G. Tankless Water Heaters Homes,

Tankless water heaters, also called instantaneous, continuous flow, inline, flash, on-demand, or instant-on water heaters, are high-power water heaters that instantly heats water as it flows through the device, and does not retain any water internally except for what is in the heat exchanger coil.

H. R-Value Insulation Homes

The insulating properties of any material are referred to by their R-value. R-value is an indication of how well something resists the transfer of heat. The higher the RSI or R-value of a material, the more it will resist heat transfer. Insulation will rest heat flow in either direction, keeping the house warm in winter and cool in summer. R-value upgrades refers to a home where the owner has added additional insulation in the walls, attics, or other insulated areas.

Solar Water Heater Homes
Solar water heaters are water heating systems designed to use the solar heat from the sun to heat water for a home instead of using gas or electricity sources. The amount of hot water a solar water heater produces depends on the type and size of the system, the amount of sun available at the site, proper installation, and the tilt angle and orientation of the collectors.
Solar water heaters are also characterized as open loop (also called “direct”) or closed loop (also called “indirect”). An open-loop system circulates household (potable) water through the collector. A closed-loop system uses a heat-transfer fluid (water or diluted antifreeze, for example) to collect heat and a heat exchanger to transfer the heat to household water.

Solar Pool Equipment Homes
Solar pool equipment refers to the pool equipment that runs off of solar electricity and/or solar heating devices to heat the pool water. While solar electric pool pumps is not a common feature of many pools in the Phoenix area, there are a fair number of homes that have solar water heaters attached to their pool equipment.
2/GREEN GLOSSARY
Green Glossary of Common Eco Terms

Please contact us if you have questions about green building terms or if you have words that you think we should add to our glossary.

Active Solar Heating

Mechanical or electrical systems that collect and absorb solar radiation, then transfer the solar heat to the interior space or to a storage system, from which the heat is distributed in the home.

Advanced Framing Techniques

See Optimum Value Engineering

Aerator

The screw-on tip of the faucet that determines the flow rate. Aerators are inexpensive to replace and they can be one of the most cost-effective household water conservation measures.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

The measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a residential heating furnace or boiler. Specifically, it is the ratio of heat output of the furnace or boiler compared to the total energy consumed by a furnace or boiler. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere.

Biodegradable

Waste material composed primarily of constituent parts that occur naturally, are able to be decomposed by bacteria or fungi, and are absorbed into the ecosystem.

Biodiversity

A large number and wide range of species of animals, plants, fungi and microsystems. Ecologically, wide biodiversity is conducive to the development of all species.

Biological Contamination

Contamination of a building environment caused by bacteria, molds and their spores, pollen, viruses, and other biological materials. It is often linked to poorly designed and maintained HVAC systems. People exposed to biologically contaminated environments may display allergic-type responses or physical symptoms such as coughing, muscle aches, and respiratory congestion.

Biomimicry

The process of emulating nature to design and produce products, systems, and buildings.

Blower Door

A test that measures the air tightness of a building

Boiler

A vessel or tank where heat produced from the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, fuel oil, or coal is used to provide either hot water or steam for home heating. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems, or can heat air via a coil.

Brown-fields

Abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

BTU

Btu stands for British thermal unit and is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound (about a pint) of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Building Envelope

Elements of the building, including all external building materials, windows, and walls, that enclose the internal space.

Building-related Illness

Diagnosable illness whose cause and symptoms can be directly attributed to a specific pollutant source within a building Also called Sick Building Syndrome.

Carbon Credits

The purchase of carbon-generating items, such as trees, that help offset the amount of pollution emitted from a process or system.

Climate Change

Used to refer to all forms of climactic inconsistency. While Climate Change includes Global Warming, it is a broader term that refers to natural changes in climate.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

The most prevelant of the greenhouse gases. Emitted by burning fossil fuels. Naturally occurring from sources such as human and animal respiration, ocean-atmosphere exchange, and volcanic eruptions.

Close-Loop Recycling

When a used product is recycled into a similar product; a recycling systems in which a particular mass of material is remanufactured into a product of similar or higher use.

Coefficient of Performance (COP)

Indicates the heating efficiency of ground-source and water-source heat pumps. More specifically, it is the ratio of heat energy delivered or extracted to the work supplied to operate the equipment. The higher the COP, the more efficient the heat pump.

Combustion Efficiency

A measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel in a combustion appliance (i.e. furnace or boiler) is transferred into usable heat.

Compact Flourescent Lamp (CFL)

Small fluorescent light bulbs that use 75% less energy (electricity), and last up to 10 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, and can be screwed into a regular light socket. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs cost little up front, and provide a quick return on investment. However, all CFL contain a small amount of mercury and must be handled properly and recycled when they burn-out.

Composting

A controlled biological decomposition of organic wastes (i.e. certain kitchen wastes, yard trimmings) into a stable product that can be used as a natural soil amendment.

Cool Roofs

Roofing material that has high solar reflectance, and absorbs only small amounts of heat, which can reduce heat transfer to the indoors and enhance roof life and durability.

Cradle-to-Cradle

A term used in life-cycle analysis to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new product at the end of its defined life.

Daylighting

Designing a building to take advantage of natural sunlight illumination

Deconstruction

The careful and systematic dismantling of a building structure to maximize the recovery of valuable building materials. Deconstruction is an environmentally friendly alternative to demolition, which produces large quantities of debris requiring disposal.

Density

The amount of residential development permitted on a given parcel of land, typically measured in dwelling units per acre – the larger the number of units permitted per acre, the higher the density; the fewer units permitted, the lower the density. Well-designed neighborhood density can help achieve local economic development goals, provide housing options, create walkable neighborhoods, and protect their air, water and open space.

Design For Deconstruction

Designing buildings to facilitate future renovations and eventual dismantlement, including designing for durability and adaptability; using fewer adhesives and sealants; using fewer materials; and re-useable components.

Dioxin

Any of several heterocyclic hydrocarbons that occur especially as persistent toxic impurities in herbicides. Also formed by burning plastics that contain chlorine.

Duct Blaster

A test that measures the air tightness of heating and cooling ducts

Embodied Energy

The amount of energy consumed to produce a product, in this case building materials. This includes the energy needed to mine or harvest natural resources and raw materials, and manufacture and transport finished materials.

Energy Audit

A written report prepared by a qualified tester using methods and measurements that comply with industry standards. An audit typically involves collection of detailed data and an engineering analysis. The result is a report of detailed project costs and savings expected when an energy-efficient project is completed and operated as designed.

Energy Efficiency

Reducing the amount of energy required to heat and cool homes, and to power appliances and electronics.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

A measure of how efficiently a cooling system (i.e. air conditioner, heat pump) operates when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (i.e. 95°F). It represents the ratio of heat removed (Btu/hour) to the electricity required to run the system (watts). The higher the EER, the more efficient the system is.

Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

A mortgage that figures conserved energy into the loan in the form of credits as an energy-efficient incentive, mostly for new homes already certified as energy efficient.

Energy Guide Label

An appliance label that provides an estimate of how much energy the appliance uses, compares energy use of similar products, and lists approximate annual operating costs. Required by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Environmental Footprint

A company’s environmental impact determined by the amount of delectable raw materials and non-renewable resources it consumes to make its products, and the quantity of wastes and emissions that are generated in the process.

Energy Improvement Mortgage (EIM)

A mortgage intended for existing homes for the purpose of installing energy efficiency improvements.

ENERGY STAR

A certification granted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. department of Energy for household appliances and buildings that perform at specified levels of energy efficiency.

Engineered Wood

Products made from lumber, veneers, strands of wood, or from other small wood and sometimes recycled plastic elements that are bound together with structural resins to form lumber-like structural products. They are designed for use in the same structural applications as conventional lumber, and allow production of large-lumber substitutes from small lower-grade logs.

Geothermal Energy

Heat from the earth. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the earth’s surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock.

Global Warming

A process that raises the air temperature in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs and Ozone. It can occur as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often applied to the warming predicted to occur as a result of human activities.

Graywater

Non-drinkable water that can be reused for irrigation, flushing toilets, and other purposes.

Green Design

A design, usually architectural, conforming to environmentally sound principles of building, material, and energy use.

Greenhouse Effect

The warming of the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere as a result of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere, which absorb and reradiate infrared radiation.

Green Mortgage

Mortgages that provide benefits to homeowners who reduce their impacts on the environment and minimize household energy or transportation costs, while potentially increasing their homes’ future value and selling potential.

Green Power

Electricity produced from renewable and non-polluting energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources.

Green Roof

Surfaces that reduce the temperature of buildings’ rooftops by absorbing heat as well as trapping dust and adding sound and temperature insulation to buildings. Roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil, planted over a waterproofing membrane.

Green Seal

A certification for construction products, such as windows, paints, and adhesives, attesting that the products were manufactured and can be used with minimal impact on the environment.

Greenwash

The practice of advertising a product or process as “green” or environmentally friendly, when the product really is not, or does not achieve the advertised marketing claims. A false or misleading picture of environmental friendliness used to conceal or obscure damaging activities..

Ground Source Geothermal System

A type of heat pump that uses the ground, ground water, or ponds as a heat source and heat sink, rather than outside air.

Heat Island Effect

Localized increase in ambient urban air temperatures resulting primarily from the replacement of vegetation with buildings, roads, and other heat-absorbing infrastructure. The heat island effect can result in significant temperature differences between rural and urban areas and contributes to global warming.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor

The measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a heat pump operating in the heating mode. It takes into account the variations in temperature that can occur within a season and is the average number of Btu of heat delivered for every watt-hour of electricity used by the heat pump over a heating season.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition (HVAC) system

Controls a homes internal environment (temperature, humidity, air flow, and air filtering). It is a more formal term to describe the heating and cooling system of a home.

HERS, Home Energy Rating System

A home energy rating that supplies credible verification for a home’s energy-efficiency using the home’s construction plans and the results of onsite inspections.

HERS Index

A nationally recognized energy rating system that gives homeowners, sellers, buyers, builders, mortgage lenders, and secondary lending markets a precise evaluation of home energy efficiency in the form of a score. A home built to the specifications of the International Energy Conservation Code scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is.

Impervious Surfaces

Surfaces such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops that prevent precipitation from soaking into the ground. Different surfaces can have different degrees of imperviousness.

Indoor Air Quality

The healthiness of the air inside homes. Indoor air pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air and/or a lack or proper ventilation are the primary causes of indoor air quality problems in homes. ASHRAE defines acceptable indoor air quality as air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities and with which 8-% or more people exposed do not express dissatisfaction.

Infiltration

Unintended air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house through cracks and openings around doors, windows, and ducts. Properly sealing these cracks and openings in a home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and help prevent pests from entering your home.

Insulating Concrete Forms

Forms for poured concrete walls that remain part of the wall assembly, adding to the insulation of a home because of their high thermal resistance.

Integrated Design

A design approach where all the members of the building stakeholder community, technical planning, design, construction, and maintenance & operation teams evaluate the project objectives collectively, and make design decisions for building materials, systems, and assemblies to meet the project goals. This approach is a deviation from the typical planning and design process of relying on the expertise of specialists who work in their respective specialties somewhat isolated from each other.

Kilowatt

A standard unit of electrical power equal to one thousand watts, or to the energy consumption at a rate of 1000 joules per second.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

A building certification process, established by the U.S. Green Building Council, which looks at various aspects of “green building” and awards recognition to buildings that meet certain standards. Users of the LEED process earn credits in several categories, which can vary by LEED certification type but generally include: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation.

Life Cycle of a Product

All stages of a product’s development, from extraction of fuel for power to production, marketing, use, and disposal and recycling.

Life Cycle Analysis

The assessment of a productâ’s full environmental costs, from raw material to final disposal or recycling, in terms of consumption of resources, energy, and waste.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

Small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LED lighting is more energy efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting than incandescent and fluorescents lighting.

Low-emissivity (low-e) Coating

A film or thin coating applied to the surface of glass to reduce heat transfer through a window. Low-e coatings reduce solar heat gain through windows in the summer and heat loss during the winter.

Native Plants

Plants that have evolved over thousands of years to be able to survive in a particular region, and have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. A community of native plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species; and will be hardy and resistant to the local conditions, thereby usually requiring less maintenance when used in landscaping.

Natural Lighting

The use of windows and skylights to bring more natural light into a home. Can also refer to architectural design that makes significant use of natural light.

Net Metering

The practice of using a single meter to measure consumption and generation of electricity by a small energy generation facility (such as a house with a solar photovoltaic system). Net metering allows a homeowner to sell surplus electricity back to the utility.

Net Zero Energy Home

A home that produces, on average, as much energy as it uses. Zero net energy use is achieved through a combination of energy efficiency measures to reduce the overall energy load of the house (i.e., super insulated building envelope, passive solar strategies, efficient heating/cooling systems) along with renewable energy (i.e., solar power, wind power), that offsets any non-renewable energy consumed.

Non-renewable Resources

Natural resources that cannot be regenerated or grown at a sustainable rate to meet demand, including fossil fuels, metals, and minerals.

On Demand Water Circulation Pump

A water-conservation device that rapidly moves water from a water heater to fixtures.

On Demand Water Heater

Tankless or instantaneous water heaters that provide hot water only as it is needed. On-demand water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank, avoiding the heat losses associated with hot water storage tanks.

Optimum Value Engineering (OVE)

Lumber layout and usage techniques that minimize the amount of lumber used to construct a house without compromising its structural integrity. OVE can improve a home’s energy efficiency and durability, reduce construction costs, and avoid waste. In addition, optimizing the amount of lumber used to frame homes creates more space for insulation in exterior walls. Also known as advanced framing.

Ozone layer

The protective layer in the atmosphere, about 12-15 miles above sea level, that absorbs some of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, thereby reducing the amount of potentially harmful radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

Passive Cooling

Cooling buildings without the use of mechanical equipment, by using natural ventilation.

Passive Solar Heating

Designing a home’s windows, walls, and floors to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. Unlike active solar heating systems, passive solar design doesn’t involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices, such as pumps, fans, or electrical controls to move the solar heat.

Permeable Pavement

Porous surface with spaces in the material, such as landscaping, gravel, and alternative pavers. Pervious surfaces allow rainwater or snowmelt to pass through into the ground, thereby reducing runoff and filtering pollutants.

Photovoltaic (PV)

A system that converts sunlight directly into electricity using cells made of silicon or other conductive materials. When sunlight hits the cells, a chemical reaction occurs, resulting in the release of electricity. Solar panels are an example of a photovoltaic system.

Porous Pavement

Special type of pavement that allows rain and snowmelt to pass through it, thereby reducing the runoff from a site and surrounding areas. In addition, well-maintained porous pavement filters pollutants from runoff.

Post-consumer Material

Any household or commercial product that has served its original, intended use.

Post-consumer Recycled Content

A product composition that contains some percentage of material that has been reclaimed from the same or another end use of its former, useful life.

Post-industrial material

Industrial manufacturing scrap or waste, also called pre-consumer material

Post-industrial Recycled Content

Product composition that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been reclaimed from a process generating the same or a similar product. Also called pre-consumer recycled content.

Pre-consumer Content

See Post-industrial Recycled Content

Radon

A colorless, odorless, naturally occurring, radioactive, inert, gaseous element formed by radioactive decay of radium atoms. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into a home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Rain Barrel

Mosquito-proof container used to collect and store rainwater that would otherwise wind up in storm drains and streams. The rain collected provides free “soft water” to homeowners-containing no chlorine, lime, or calcium-that can be used to water gardens and houseplants, or for car and window washing.

Rain Garden

A planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater). Native plants are recommended for rain gardens because they generally don’t require fertilizer and are more tolerant of one’s local climate, soil, and water conditions.

Reclaimed Materials

Waste materials and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream for reuse.

Reclaimed Water

Treated wastewater that can be used for beneficial purposes, such as irrigating certain plants.

Reclamation

Restoration of materials found in the waste stream to a beneficial use that may be other than the original use.

Recycling

Process by which materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated, or processes and returned to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods.

Recycled-content Material

Materials that contain pre- or post-consumer recycled content. Purchasing recycled products creates markets for the recovered materials, conserves natural resources and energy, and reduces waste.

Renewable Energy

Energy and electricity supplied from continually replenished energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower, and various forms of biomass.

Renewable Resources

A resource that can be replenished at a rate equal to or greater than its rate of depletion; i.e. solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass resources.

Resource Conservation

Practices that protect, preserve, or renew natural resources in a manner that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits.

R-Value

A measure of insulation. The higher the R-value, the better walls and roofs will resist the transfer of heat.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

A measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a central air conditioner or air conditioning heat pump. It takes into account the variations in temperature that can occur within a season, rather than a single temperature, and is the average number of Btu of cooling delivered for every watt-hour of electricity. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the system.

Smart Growth

Development, transportation and conservation strategies that help protect the natural environment and make communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse.

Solar Panels

See Photovoltaics

Stormwater

Stormwater is water from precipitation and snowmelt events. Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. In the process of flowing over the land or impervious surfaces, stormwater can accumulate debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that can adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged into streams or lakes untreated.

Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Prefabricated insulated structural elements for use in home walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs, which provide enhanced insulation compared to more traditional construction methods.

Sustainability

Practices that ensure the continued viability of a product, practice, ecosystem, or the plant for a long-term (typically defined as at least seven generations into the future.)

Sustainable Development

An approach to progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Thermal Mass Materials

Materials that retain or store heat produced by sunlight or other sources. These are typically dense materials such as stone, concrete, or metal, and are often an important component of solar heating systems and other high efficiency systems.

U-Factor

U-factor measures the heat transfer through a window, door, or skylight and tells you how well the product insulates. The lower the U-factor, the greater resistance to heat flow (in and out) and the better its insulation value.

Ventilation

The intentional exchange of indoor air with outdoor air to reduce indoor pollutants, moisture, and odors.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)

Organic substances capable of entering the gas phase from either a liquid or solid form.

Water Factor

The number of gallons per cycle per cubic foot that a clothes washer uses.

Watt

The rate of energy transfer equivalent to one ampere under an electrical pressure of one volt. One watt equals 1/746 horsepower, or one joule per second. The amount of light, or the energy output, of light bulbs is measured, in part, in watts. The higher the wattage level, the more energy is output and consumed.

Weatherization

Energy efficiency improvement measures for homes, including a wide variety of measures that encompass the building envelope, its heating and cooling systems, its electrical system, and electricity consuming appliances. Examples of weatherization include adding insulation, storm windows, or weatherstripping to your home.

Wetland

Areas that serve as links and buffers between land and water resources by collecting and filtering runoff.

Xeriscaping

A landscaping method used in arid areas. Uses native plants that can tolerate infrequent watering.

Zero-energy

A process or building that produces as much energy as it uses.

Zero-waste

A process of building that has a closed-loop relative to waste, where all outputs are used again as inputs and no waste is created.

Glossary compiled from several great resources such as the United States Green Building Council(USGBC) ETC…