The LEAF house includes energy-efficient appliances and
skylights. The buildings we work and live in have a significant impact on the environment—and not a very good one. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings in the U.S. account for 65 percent of electricity consumption, 36 percent of energy use and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Figures like these are a wake-up call to a growing number of area builders and architects taking the initiative to build homes that are more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Meanwhile, consumers are learning that they can help drive the marketplace, whether they are building a new home, remodeling an existing one or simply adopting new earth-friendly practices.
The following pages spotlight the work of DC, Maryland and Virginia architects and builders who are on the cutting edge of sustainable design. This feature also offers advice on how you can be a more responsible steward of the environment by repurposing building supplies and planting greener gardens.