Advanced framing, or Optimal Value Engineering (OVE), is a systems approach to the design, engineering, and construction of wood-framed structures that reduces lumber use, minimizes wood waste, and maximizes a structure's thermal efficiency. View this fact sheet for details on how to implement various strategies.
Fly Ash Concrete (Build It Green fact sheet, .pdf)
Fly ash is a waste product that can be substituted for large portions of Portland cement, significantly improving concrete's environmental characteristics. Fly ash, consisting mostly of silica, alumina, and iron, forms a compound similar to Portland cement when mixed with lime and water. Fly ash is a noncombusted by-product of coal-fired power plants and generally ends up in a landfill. However, when high volumes are used in concrete (displacing more than 25% of the cement), it creates a stronger, more durable product and reduces concrete's environmental impact considerably.
FSC Certified Wood (Build It Green fact sheet, .pdf)
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has established standards in sustainable forest management and created a mechanism, third party certification, that ensures that they are followed. In addition to addressing its environmental impact, the FSC considers the impact of logging on local communities and indigenous peoples and supports their interests.
Pressure Treated Wood (Build It Green fact sheet, .pdf)
Pressure treated wood is used in applications where decay and insect damage are a concern such as playground equipment, decks, building foundations, landscape ties, retaining walls, and fence posts. Wood was traditionally treated with copper chromated arsenate (CCA) until it came restricted by the EPA. Currently more environmentally friendly treatments are widely used.
Termite Prevention (Build It Green fact sheet, .pdf)
In the U.S., termites cause more monetary damage to homes than fires, storms, and earthquakes combined. Many termite infestations can be avoided in the first place: numerous low-cost, common-sense, chemical-free design and construction measures can physically hinder termites and other pests from entering a home in their search for wood and wood-based materials to eat. As a general rule, implement measures that eliminate excess moisture, available food, and physical termite pathways. Read this fact sheet for details.
Wall systems (Build It Green fact sheet, .pdf)
Today, wood framing is the most common construction method for residential and small scale commercial buildings. However, environmental concerns, and volatile fuel and lumber prices are driving the quest for high performance building envelope systems such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). In addition, natural disasters throughout the U.S. and large payouts for insurance companies are motivating builders to consider more robust and durable building material.
Advanced Wall Framing
Rational and basic techniques behind advanced framing.
California Straw Building Association
A non-profit organization whose members are architects, engineers, builders, and people interested in straw building. Their mission is to"...further the practice of straw building by exchanging current information and practical experience, promoting and conducting research and testing, and making that body of knowledge available to working professionals and the public at large."
EcoSteel specializes in pre-fabricated steel building systems. Similar to SIPs or ICFs, EcoSteel products are steel panels insulated by HCFC foam.