The Green Building Glossary (or What Did You Just Say?)

Let’s face it; the entire state of Texas has gone mad and words have mysteriously gained new meanings. Strange acronyms drop from the mouths of Texas mayors, city council members and others on high. Did the words lose something in translation? Discover the secret green building code.“Green” – It’s Not Just a Color Anymore“Green” isn’t the color of grass, anymore than “cool” is a temperature, and it’s time decoded what everyone in Texas (except you) is talking about. This is an abridged version of the green building acronym glossary; each acronym links to more information:ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers: Organization set on advancing technology for a more sustainable world.CFL – Compact Fluorescent Lamp: More energy efficient, small fluorescent lamps.EPA – Environmental Protection Agency: governmental agencyFSC – Forest Stewardship Council: Independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests and opposes de-forestation. Independently certifies products made of sustainable resources or companies that produce environmentally safe, renewable or sustainable products.HERS – Home Energy Rating System: Software that performs an energy analysis on the design of a home to identify needed energy efficient improvements.HET – High Efficiency Toilets: HETs have a much lower percent of wasted water than conventional toilets.LEED® – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design: A third-party USGBC certification program for green buildings that sets industry standards.P2 – Pollution preventionUSGBC – U.S. Green Building Council: Non-governmental. From the website: A non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.VOC – Volatile Organic Compound: Organic chemical compounds that vaporize in a normal environment. The most common VOC is methane, but the long list also includes paint thinners, gasoline and formaldehyde.As you can no doubt imagine, many acronyms exist in the green building industry. Don’t be afraid to question or research!

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