Glossary

Eight Hour Ozone Standard - the proposed indicator of air quality acceptability as it pertains to ground-level ozone. The current threshold value for this standard is 0.08 parts per million (ppm). An area meets the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) if the monitored ozone level does not exceed the standard more than three tiems over a consecutive three-year period.

Energy Efficient Mortgage - energy efficiency lowers energy bills, which allow for more money to be available each month to go towards housing expenses meaning potential homeowners will qualify for higher mortgages.

Energy Star Program - appliances that exceed the federal minimum efficiency standards by a specific percentage (usually 15 – 40%, depending on the type of appliance) or a specified energy consumption level are labeled with a sticker.

Green Building - a comprehensive view of home construction, where the entire project is considered an interrelated system. The components of the building work together to reduce energy needs, make the home run more smoothly and be more comfortable. It is also more than just the home. It is the home’s surroundings, the landscaping. It is the neighborhood the home sits in.

Ground level ozone - is formed by a chemical reaction between VOCs and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the presence of sunlight. Ozone concentrations can reach unhealthful levels when the weather is hot and sunny with little or no wind.

Near Nonattainment Area - a geographic area that meets national ambient air quality standards but only by a slim margin. Often applied to areas that comply with the 1-hour ozone standard but fail to meet the new 8-hour ozone standard.

Nonattainment Area - a geographic area that fails to meet a NAAQS. An area must be officially designated by EPA, under procedures set forth by the Federal Clean Air Act, in order to be classified in nonattainment.

One Hour Ozone Standard - the current indicator of air quality acceptability as it pertains to ground-level ozone. This indicator involves taking an average 1-hour concentration of pollutants. The current threshold is 0.12 parts per million (ppm). An area meets the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) if the monitored ozone level does not exceed the standard more than three times over a consecutive three-year period.

Urban heat island effect - On warm summer days, the air in urban areas can be 6-8°F hotter than its surrounding areas. This is caused by dark surfaces--that absorb more heat from the sun--and less vegetation that would provide shade and cool the air.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper