Environmental Benefits

Before construction began, the GreenHome design team outlined five target goals to guide each stage of planning and construction. We expect to meet, and in some cases, exceed our target goals.

Target 1: Use 50% less fossil-fuel energy than the conventional home

By exceeding this goal and achieving carbon neutrality in operational energy use, this home compared to a conventional home contributes to a reduction in air pollution and related problems such as smog, reduced visibility, acid rain, global climate change and significant negative health impacts. The table provides rough estimates of this reduction in annual emissions.1

44,000 pound of carbon dioxide (CO2)
140 pound of sulfur dioxide (SO2)
55 pound of nitrogen oxides (NOx)

The annual reduction of CO2 emissions is enviromentally equivalent to:

3,400 trees planted OR
54,000 miles not drvien OR
1,300 days not driven

Target 2: Use 50% less water than the conventional home

Early approximations of the water efficiency in the GreenHome range from a 50% to 75% reduction in water use. This goal is accomplished primarily through the capture and reuse of rainwater for toilets, laundry and irrigation; low-flow fixtures; and high-efficiency irrigation methods. Compared to the average water use of 80 to 100 gallons per person per day, the family living in this home will save more than 1 million gallons of potable water over the next 15 years – an amount equivalent to 50 residential-sized swimming pools.

Target 3: Recycle 75% of construction and demolition waste

Though construction is still underway, we are confident that we can reach this goal. If the leftover materials match the local market for recyclable products, we will have diverted more than 10,000 pounds of waste from entering a landfill.2

Target 4: Retain 95% of stormwater on site

The stormwater management system in the GreenHome will capture 95% of the stormwater on site.  Stormwater is considered one of the most significant causes of water pollution in the United States.  Impacts include flooding, degraded stream ecosystems, impaired watershed quality, and erosion. Most new homes do not have on-site stormwater retention plans, instead allowing rainwater to runoff the roof, yard, and driveway, carrying automobile and yard pollutants into local waterways and water treatment systems.

Target 5: Recycle and reuse 90% of organic waste produced on site

By recycling and reusing yard waste, leaving grass clippings on the yard to maintain soil nutrients, and composting kitchen waste the family living in the GreenHome will reduce the waste it sends to the landfill by more than 10 tons over the next 15 years. This waste will be reduced in volume by 70% to 80% as it is broken down by natural processes into fertilizers for the yard, garden and potted plants.3

Click here to learn more about the features that make the GreenHome™ so environmentally friendly.