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Green Building

NETWORK strongly supports individual, corporate and government actions that help support (or renew) healthy ecosystems. The homes in which we live tell much about our environmental values. NETWORK encourages incorporation of environmentally responsible ways of living, as these become available.

"Green housing" refers to construction or rehabilitation of homes using technologies and appliances that are friendly to the environment, help keep utility bills and repair costs low, prevent environmental contaminants from damaging residents' health and are resource-efficient throughout a building's life cycle.

While the practices or technologies employed in green building are constantly evolving and may differ region to region, certain principles and technologies persist from which the method is derived. These technologies include the use of alternative energy sources such as geothermal, solar panels, and high-level insulation; water conservation features; the use of rapidly renewable plant material like bamboo; and recycled construction materials that are as free of toxins and allergens as possible. These principles also include the fact that building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in their transportation. Energy-efficient appliances are also stressed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has incorporated environmentally sound practices in its construction and rehabilitation, and has required these of private entities that receive HUD contracts. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a "Green Building Strategy" to guide its various activities.

Information about green building is available from HUD and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.