Renewable Energy Checklist for Homebuilders
- Is the long face of the building oriented to within 30 degrees of due south? (15 degrees is even better.)
- Is there unobstructed southern exposure?
- Will trees grow to block the sun?
- Might a building be built in the future that could block the sun?
- Are you going beyond the code requirements for insulation? For the performance of windows?
- Are you taking extra care to ensure tight construction?
- Have you increased the south-facing window area to the maximum for your design choices?
- Could casement windows be used to capture breezes?
- Have you planned for cross-ventilation?
- Are you using energy-efficient windows?
- Have you considered using different windows for each face of the building?
- Is there adequate shading on the south, east, and west windows?
- Are the main living spaces near south-facing windows?
- Are unused spaces such as closets and storage rooms on the north and west sides of the building?
- Does the floor plan allow for the movement of heat in the winter and ventilation in the summer?
- Is the garage located on the east, west, or north side?
- Does your design maximize the use of natural light?
- Do you have light-colored interior surfaces?
- Are you using healthy building materials obtained from local sources?
- Have you downsized your mechanical system for the decreased energy demand?
- Have you provided a means for ventilation in all living spaces of the building?
- Does your open plan allow for ease of air movement?
Solar Water Heaters
- Have you considered using a solar water heater?
- Have you checked for financial incentive programs for energy-efficient construction or the use of solar energy?
- Have you looked for lenders that offer lower-rate energy-efficient mortgages?