By carefully considering each decision in the design process, from how the building is oriented to what type of carpet is specified, the operating efficiency, comfort, and health of the dwelling units can be greatly improved while reducing impacts in the environment. The Box above contains a list of our recommended "Top 25" low-cost green building practices. These strategies serve as a baseline of green building practices that are appropriate for affordable housing and can be implemented on a tight budget.

For the systems and materials to provide the expected benefit, it is essential that the plans and specifications clearly state not just the product but what specific green features are desired. Later, when substitutions or change orders occur, having clear documentation will ensure that the green aspects are not overlooked. Diligent construction management will ensure the green items are incorporated per the plans and specs and thus able to deliver benefits to the owner and the future tenants or owners.

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