Site, Location & Orientation Protect topsoil and mimimize disruption of existing plants and trees
Incorporate passive solar design features such as:
South facing glass windows, doors to improve passive solar performance
Roof overhangs, trellises, awnings to selectively control heat gain through windows or doors
Floor and wall materials that improve thermal mass and moderate temperature swings
Windows oriented to catch prevailing breezes and provide cross ventilation
Deconstruct instead of demolishing structures to reduce the amount of material that will be disposed in a landfill.
Recycle construction and demolition waste. Note that the Town of Hillsborough requires execution and approval of a Waste Reduction Plan on construction and demolition projects.
Design a space-efficient, compact home to minimize the energy needed to heat and cool the house. Though bigger may be considered better to some, large houses with empty spaces can raise heating and cooling costs significantly.
Limit the impervious surface area of your site to help prevent stormwater runoff. Hillsborough places limits on impervious surface area. LI>
Use native plants to significantly reduce the amount of water necessary for irrigation. Native plants are better suited to the local climate and soil types and are more adapted to the local weather system.
Minimize water-consuming turf area. By replacing turf with native groundcovers and perennial grasses, you can still maintain the look of a manicured garden while significantly reducing water demand.
Use “Smart” irrigation controllers to more efficiently irrigate your garden.
Group plants according to water needs in a practice called “hydro-zoning."
Use mulch to conserve water, moderate soil temperature and reduce weed growth; and compost to increase water retention, encourage healthy plant growth, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.
Perform building envelope diagnostic evaluations to ensure that energy efficiency measures and equipment were actually installed properly and are performing optimally.
Consider exceeding the minimum state and local energy efficiency requirements when building your home. This may result in a more comfortable home with lower energy costs and higher quality construction.
Use "low-VOC" or "zero-VOC" paints, finishes, caulks and adhesives that do not emit harmful volatile organic compounds to reduce the concentration of toxic chemicals in the air. VOCs can also be emitted by building materials such as carpet, particleboard and insulation.
Use recycled-content paint to conserves resources.
Install shelving, cabinetry, countertops, doors, and trim made from reclaimed or salvaged material to reuse products that would otherwise go to a landfill. If using new materials, choose environmentally preferable options such as FSC-certified wood, products that are locally sourced and manufactured, and finish materials that are low in formaldehyde.
Use environmentally preferable flooring options such as FSC-certified wood, reclaimed, rapidly renewable or recycled-content materials, local materials, and materials (including carpet) that are low in VOC or formaldehyde emissions.
Use of flooring materials like concrete can improve thermal mass for passive cooling and heating.