Slideshow: Top 10 Green Buildings

December 14, 2011

One Vancouver building made the American Institute of Architects' 2011 list of the best examples of sustainable architecture and green design. You can check them all out -- and see if you guessed which Vancouver green building made the list -- in this Time Magazine photo essay.

American Architects' Top 10 Green Buildings, 2011

Meantime, while you might not be inclined to add a sod roof or switch to geothermal energy, it's not hard to turn your own home into a green(er) building. Here's how to save energy around your home.

Turn off electronics, appliances and lights:The average Canadian home wastes 450 kilowatt hours of electricity a year -- the same as leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for almost 19 days. Electricity companies call all this wasted energy "vampire load."

Unplug adaptors:Feel an adaptor that's plugged in. If it's warm, that means it's using electricity, even if it's not attached to anything or if it's attached to something that's turned off.

Use a clothesline:Either inside or outside, letting clothes air-dry means not turning on the dryer, one of the biggest energy hogs in your home.

Seal doors and windows:One word: weatherstripping. Inside the house you can further reduce heat loss by not heating rooms you don't use and using draft blockers to keep cold air from seeping under shut doors.

Buy Energy Star-accredited products: Energy Star puts its seal on energy-efficient doors, windows and skylights, heating and cooling equipment, appliances, lighting and electronics.

Check out incentive programs:There's money around to reward you for making energy-saving changes to your home. Find out about the different programs available in BC here.

If you're buying, look at new homes:Developers have embraced eco-building standards like LEED, BuildSmart and EnerGuide, and new buildings and developments proudly show off all their eco-friendly features. Many new developments are also helping densification and preventing sprawl. (Click our New Homes tab to see new developments all over our area.)

Sorry Kermit, but it's way easier being green than it used to be.