Green & Sustainable Building Practices
There are many elements and practices that can be incorporated into the construction of a new home or renovation and addition to an existing home. Below are some ideas and technologies we recommend for consideration for your building project.
Site Selection and Orientation
• Choose a building lot that is a reasonable commute to work, school, shopping, and recreation.
• Site the house on the lot considering southern exposure, for solar gain, driveway access, utility and infrastructure connections, existing trees and vegetation.
Water Resource and Conservation
• Storm water runoff management is required in almost all municipalities in Pennsylvania. ‘Rainwater Harvesting’ is a cost effective method of meeting those requirements and recycling that water for things like flushing toilets and landscape irrigation.
• Water saving plumbing fixtures such as dual flush toilets and low flow faucets are standard specification and available in all design lines.
The single most effective method to save energy, the type and amount of insulation, location and installation methods, as well as air infiltration and moisture control, are all important factors to be considered and incorporated into the design of the home.
Alternative Energy Resource
• Thermal solar is an effective method to produce heat for domestic hot water heating and space heating.
• Photovoltaic (PV) solar to produce electricity to meet the electrical needs of the house or sell back to the utility when production exceeds demand.
Heating and Cooling and Ventilation
There are many options and considerations for heating, such as comfort, fuel source and efficiency.
• In floor, hot water, radiant heat produces a very comfortable heat system with a high efficiency. This type of system can be fueled by oil, gas, electric, solar or geothermal exchange system.
• A forced air system combined with air conditioning can provide the requirement for both heating and cooling. Heat pumps with a high SEER rating are very efficient and do not require a fossil fuel for back up. A geothermal heat pump provides the most efficiency for a ducted HVAC system to meet heating and cooling requirements.
• Fresh air exchange is an important component to a well insulated and energy efficient home. An air to air heat exchanger is a good way to introduce fresh air into the home and capture the heat of the exhausted air.
The following are some considerations and ideas to choosing the materials and finishes for your home:
•Off gassing of paints, (VOC) stains, adhesives, and other chemical compounds used in the construction of your new home.
•Regionally Sourced and locally manufactured materials
•Reused building materials
•Recycled building materials
•Renewable building materials
Lighting and Appliances
• Day lighting is a natural way to bring light into the home through properly placed windows, clerestories and skylights.
• Technology for efficient electrical lighting is changing rapidly. Some current recommendations include Compact Florescent Lamps (CFL’s) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED”S)
• ‘Energy Star’ rated appliances are those which have been certified by EPA and the DOE as using less energy to operate than standard models and can save from 15%-75% on energy consumed.
certified sustainable building advisor
William Felton is a certified green builder, having completed the full CSBA professional course. This impacts not only your home but the environment as well.