Green Building Considerations

glass globe in woods environment
Whether you’re looking at a new construction or a thorough remodel, you have plenty of possible options when it comes to making your home more environmentally friendly. By incorporating these green features, you’ll be giving back to nature and paying it forward to future generations — both of which are quite rewarding.


green friendly residential constructionA key aspect of green building is the use of natural, sustainable and recycled materials. Sustainable natural resources include materials such as cork or bamboo (used for flooring), stone (for countertops or flooring), and carpeting made with natural fibers. Certified lumber that’s been harvested responsibly is also a great choice. When building materials are re-used, energy is saved in manufacturing new ones.

Construction materials are just the beginning: In design, upcycling is all the rage. For example, when reclaimed building materials such as flooring or wall studs are used to build new furniture, those items are kept out of landfills. Buying materials locally is also an environmentally friendly step, because you avoid air pollution that comes with exhaust gases emitted during transportation.


home friendly for the environmentFrom Energy Star appliances to energy-efficient windows, HVAC systems, programmable thermostats, and solar panels, you can ensure a continually green environment without using more energy than you really need. A fringe benefit of implementing these energy-saving options is the cost savings they bring your way each month. Conserving water can also be a plus, and that goal can be accomplished with water-saving toilets, shower heads, faucets, washing machines, and landscape watering systems.

Another way to go green and save money on utilities and materials is to implement the most efficient design possible that enables you to minimize the size of our space. The smaller the area, the less you’ll have to heat and cool, and the fewer materials you’ll need.

A third way is to incorporate the latest insulation into your design. Affordably priced insulation products with R-values are made from sustainable materials and can provide optimum insulation; spray foam is one example of this kind of product. Reflective barriers in the attic can keep it cooler.


construction worker hammering nails into floorGreen roofing can include both solar panels and some real green stuff. Solar panels provide renewable energy by converting the radiant energy from the sun into 12-volt power for your home, cutting your energy usage or even getting it off the grid completely. Today’s solar panels don’t have to be eye sores, with shingles or panels that blend in with the rest of your roof.

A planted roof can actually reduce the potential for water damage to your home; it lessens the water runoff that it would otherwise have. The waterproof lining beneath the soil and seed prevent water penetration, and an added bonus is increased thermal resistance, which leads to reduced need for artificial heating and cooling. Of course, the CO2 emissions improve the healthfulness of your home’s environment, as well.

By considering environmental health of your materials, utility use, and roofing, you can make sure that the environment and your pocket book thank you.

D.R. Hartman Construction

D.R. Hartman Construction is a licensed & insured general contractor which provides residential & commercial construction services. Located just outside of Washington, D.C., DRHCI serves Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and the surrounding areas. Visit them online at

Whether you’re looking for a townhouse remodel, a new garage, or renovation of commercial retail space, contact Don Hartman, general contractor, to see how DRHCI can help bring your project to life. Known for honesty and reliability, the Hartman general contractors are a trustworthy choice you won’t regret.

Maryland Home Improvement License: 91596. Maryland Commercial Business License: 15699610

Image credits: Top © Romolo Tavani/Fotolia; 2nd © Dariusz T. Oczkowicz/Fotolia; 3rd © Aleciccotelli/Fotolia; Bottom © Robert Cocquyt/Fotolia.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.

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