Published: Thursday 31 January 2008

How green is your home?
Buildings, both in design and choice of materials, have significant impacts on environment. Much of the concern boils down to the use of energy. How much is used in in transporting building material ? Once the house is built, how much energy does it consume to keep its inhabitants comfortable? Consumption of energy has a direct influence on environmental quality, because of pollution through greenhouse gases and other emissions. Then there is the loss of natural beauty, ecosystems and basic resources associated with the extraction of fossil fuels and building materials. has links to sites that provide information on houses that require very little energy to keep them comfortable. The links under the head, 'Sustainable Architecture' outline a dozen points to keep in mind when designing a sustainable house.

Examining the architecture of diverse cultures can provide many ideas for beauty, energy efficiency and appropriate use of materials. The site has an extensive gallery of posters and art prints depicting architecture from around the world that can help evaluate various styles.

The site provides a way to communicate with, and learn from, a variety of experts in the many fields associated with the site. In the 'Ask the Experts' section, you are invited to ask questions and read the responses to others' questions. There are sections about building codes, financial aspects and also a store where pertinent media can be purchased.

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