GREEN - What We Mean
Our approach to green building involves considering the impact of our material and building practice choices on our homeowners' health and comfort, and the larger context of environmental sustainability. It comes down to careful attention to the energy and natural resources consumed in the construction process itself as well as the overall life-cycle of the home.
When we approach a green building project, we incorporate some or all of the green building guidelines promoted by the National Association of Homebuilders(www.nahbgreen.org). These guidelines divide green building into seven general categories, such as: energy efficiency, indoor air quality, site development, client education, global impact, resource efficiency, etc. We strive to:
- increase energy efficiency well beyond current code requirements and obtain energy star certification.
- plan the thermal envelope early in the design process.
- select construction material, finishes, flooring etc. for improved indoor air quality (IAQ).
- utilize pre-finished materials when possible, for greater durability and reduced toxicity.
- use materials from nearby and local sources to reduce transportation energy use when feasible materials with lower embodied energy.
- improve ventilation and control the rate of air exchange.
- use careful planning, selection and installation of insulation and HVAC equipment.
- design and site home with regard to the path of the sun and local site conditions to allow forpassive heating and cooling.
- incorporate renewable energy options such as solar space heating, domestic hot water and photovoltaics.
- reduce soil erosion and minimize site damage.
- be conscious in our selection of which trees to keep and which to remove.
- use indigenous plants and grasses.
- collaborate fully with clients during design to maximize comfort and health requirements and take into account likely use patterns of the home.
- educate clients about how to get the most benefit from the various features of the home and how to maintain it at top performance.
- minimize overall size of structure through careful design.
- use 3D solar design renderings and other energy performance software designed to help model the energy performance of the home before construction begins.
- utilize third-party verification and certification such as Energy Star or NAHB Green Building Guidelines.
We encourage third party certification under a recognized green building program to assure the client they are receiving the expected green building benefits. This certification is further validation of the increased value of their home in the marketplace.
In the same way that the building code inspector verifies that construction meets the minimum standards as required by the state, the green building certification helps assure that the home meets the higher standards of performance expected of green buildings.