Green Materials Guide: Your Guide to Materials for Green Home Improvement, Remodeling and Renovation

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Once the building blocks are in place, you'll need to figure out how to keep it comfy inside, whether that's keeping the heat outside in the summer or inside in the winter. That can take many forms, involving the entire structure's design -- as with the pictured Passive House design -- or just with how its guts come together, with systems like geothermal heating and cooling and solar heating and air conditioning, or with retrofits and smaller systems that can improve an existing structure, like a pellet or wood stove. Climate control can take a lot of work, so check out the guide for Heating and Cooling to learn more.

Image credit: Passive House Institute, Germany