Green Terms Defined Summary 2015

 Green Terms Defined Summary 2015

2012 International Energy Conservation Code: Minimum energy code standards adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia

Air Changes per Hour (ACH)the measure how many times the air within a defined space is replaced.

electrical outlets

ASHRAE 90.1: a standard in the US that provides minimum requirements for energy-efficient designs for buildings except for low-rise residential buildings.

Carbon Footprinta measure of the impact our activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases we produce.

Carbon Neutral Building: the process of taking into account measuring, reducing, and offsetting carbon energy used by the building.

Cellulose Insulationa low-thermal-conductivity material use to reduce heat loss and gain from a building.

Ceramic tile: made from clay that has been permanently hardened by heat, often having a decorative glaze.

Commissioning: verification and documentation that a building and the systems used are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the project requirements set by the building owner.

electrical outlets

Conduction: the flow of heat through an object by transferring heat from one molecule to another. Think frying pan on a stove or wood stud that touches the inside drywall and the outside wall sheathing.

Convection: refers to the transfer of heat by a moving fluid. Thing warm air rising and cool air sinking in a room. Convection loops circulate near walls. During the heating season, warm air is cooled by exterior walls and falls towards the floor, creating a convection loop. Convective loops can also happen within framing cavities if the insulation doesn’t completely fill the space.

Edible landscapingthe practical integration of food plants within your landscape for the purposes of decorating as well as producing food.

Erosion: the removal of soil and rock by water from one location to another.

ERV or Energy Recovery Ventilatorpart of a balanced ventilation system that transfers water vapor and heat from one airstream to another.

Flashinga strip of impervious material used to stop water from penetrating the junction of a wall or roof with another surface.

Fly Asha fine, glass like powder recovered from the coal-burning process for the production of electricity.

FormaldehydeA gas used widely in production of adhesives, plastics, preservatives, and fabric treatments and commonly emitted by indoor materials that are made with its compounds.

Grasslands Conservation Carbon Offsetssimilar to forestry, native grasses and other vegetation provide a natural source of greenhouse gas (GHG) absorption and sequestration.

Chesapeake Western Depot Harrisonburg

Historic Building: a structure that has historic, architectural, or cultural significance.

Humidistatan electronic device that measures the relative humidity in a space.

HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system in your home or business.

Infrared Thermography, thermal imaging, or thermal video: a type of infrared imaging used for determining air leakage in energy audits.

Insulated concrete form (ICF)a wall building system made of reinforced concrete and most commonly rigid thermal insulation.

Insulating CurtainsThermal curtains have a lining that resists temperature change and are heavy enough to stop air flow.

Interior designthe art or process of designing the interior of a room or building.

Karst Topography: an area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fisures, sinkholes, underground streams and caverns.

Lifetime Home: A design approach that encompasses specific design features that ensure that a new house or apartment will meet the current and future needs of most households.

light shelf

Light Shelf: a horizontal overhanging element located above the eye-level and typically having a highly reflective upper surface.

Linoleum: a resilient flooring product that was developed in the 1800’s. It consists of cork flour, linseed oil, oak dust, and jute.

Natural Ventilation: the process of supplying and removing air by natural means from building spaces by using windows, doors, solar chimneys, and non-powered ventilators.

Net Meteringa method of crediting consumers for the electricity that is generated on their home or business in excess of the total electricity that they have used.

No-Step Entry or zero-step entry: a flush entry from the driveway or garage into your home.

Pervious Concrete: concrete that allows water to move through the material into a storage area under the pavement.

Radiation: flow of heat from a warm source through space in waves of infrared or visible light energy. Think sunlight through a window.

Renovationthe act of repurposing / updating / remodeling of a building.

Resilient Designthe capacity of a design to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.


Single-stream recycling: a process or system where all paper, plastics, metals, cardboard, glass, and trash goes into the same can and is sorted by the facility into separate commodities.

Solatube: a tubular daylighting system

Specifications: define the requirements regarding materials, products, installation and quality aspects pertaining to the execution of the work and contract.

Thermal Bridgewhere heat occurs across more conductive components in an otherwise well-insulated material, resulting in disproportionately significant heat loss.

Tiny House: home designed to be less than 1,000 sf

Vampire Loadthe power consumed by electronics and appliances while they are technically switched off or in standby mode.

Vapor Barrier: a barrier that reduces the rate that water vapor can move through a material.

Wastewaterwater from bathtubs, shower drains, sinks, washing machines, and dishwashers is considered grey water.

WaterSense: a label program created by the Environmental Protection Agency for consumers to easily identify water efficient products.

Weatherizationthe practice of using cost-effective strategies to modify a building to decrease energy usage and increase comfort.

Window: Casement or Double-Hung glass opening in a wall system.

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