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Structural

 
 
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.
 
Green Building PDF Icon  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.
 
Green Building PDF Icon  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.
Green Building PDF Icon  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.
 
Green Building PDF Icon  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.
 
Green Building PDF Icon  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.
 
Green Building PDF Icon  Deconstruction (pdf)
A presentation on reusing salvaged materials from deconstructed buildings
 
Green Building Link Icon Advanced Wall Framing
Rational and basic techniques behind advanced framing.
 
Green Building Link Icon  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."
 
Green Building Link Icon  EcoSteel
EcoSteel specializes in pre-fabricated steel building systems. Similar to SIPs or ICFs, EcoSteel products are steel panels insulated by HCFC foam.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Structurally Insulated Panels)
A general fact sheet discussing Structurally Insulated Panels or SIPs which are prefabricated insulated structural elements for use in building walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Resources on various natural building materials and techniques.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Insulated Concrete Forms Association
ICFA is a trade association dedicated to promoting the use of ICFs. Their website contains helpful links to various ICF resources.
 
Green Building Link Icon  National Resource Defense Council (Efficient Wood use in Residential Construction)
Excerpts of the 1998 NRDC handbook summarize the advantages of several wood-efficient approaches to design, material selection, and construction for residential applications, and describe the extensive practical and resource information for builders, architects, engineers, developers, lenders, and insurers provided in the print version.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Structural Insulated Panels Association
SIPA is a trade association for the SIPs industry. This website contains useful resources including construction details, technical information, and a FAQ section.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Tool Base (Advanced Framing Techniques: Optimal Value Engineering)
Technical fact sheet on methods to reduce lumber use and still maintain structural integrity.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Tool Base (Insulated Concrete Forms)
This technical fact sheet discusses the different factors and costs involved in using ICFs, including technical drawings and links to further resources.
 
Green Building Link Icon  Tool Base (Steel Framing)

This technical fact sheet discusses the different factors and costs involved in using steel framing, including technical drawings and links to further resources.