Green building is an approach to construction that guides every step of the design and construction, from choosing a building site to how it’s heated. These state of the art homes make efficient use of energy and water, are built with responsibly harvested and produced materials, have healthy indoor environments and have minimal impact on the land they sit on. Green building or as we like to call it “high performance” building is about building better homes - more durable, comfortable and energy efficient. Even though there is no single template their designs are based on three broad principles:
- Energy efficiency – The house “performs” at a “high” level of efficiency. Whenever feasible, renewable forms of energy like geo-thermal or solar are used to replace fossil fuels.
- Conservation of natural resources – thoughtful design and material selection makes it a durable, low maintenance house with low environmental impact.
- High indoor air quality – The house is much healthier to live in because it has a tighter building enclosure or exterior shell so water intrusion doesn’t lead to mold or deterioration. The building materials, paints and finishes don’t contribute toxins or irritants to indoor air and they have mechanical ventilation that assures a steady flow of fresh air.
All kinds of homes can be green, from affordable housing projects to luxury custom homes. They can be built new or an existing home that’s been renovated. But green building and remodeling is more than just the sum of a handful of green features. A true green home is the result of a holistic or whole house plan where green features, systems, designs and products complement each other and work as a sustainable whole. This is what’s known as “integrated design” and involves regular meetings, or charrettes, between the designer, builder and sub-contractors to discuss the construction of the house from a high performance perspective. You can learn more about green building and remodeling in the Resources section.
It’s hard to see a magazine anymore without some type of information about Green Building. There’s an abundance of information via the internet, print, and even an entire TV network dedicated to 24/7 coverage of all things “Green”. However this has resulted in an overwhelming amount of information on a dizzying array of topics, from material choices and indoor air quality to landscaping and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). This wide array of information can convey a false impression – namely that the covered topics are equally important. If you’re building a new house or thinking about renovating an existing home, most of these topics turn out to be irrelevant from an environmental perspective. By far the most important factor is energy use. The ongoing energy use of a building after it’s been constructed or renovated is by far the single greatest environmental impact so making our homes as energy efficient as possible should be our number one priority. Learn more about improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Home Energy Audits
A home energy audit is the first step in determining how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. Accent Builders can provide a professional certified auditor who will use a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of your home and pinpoint where it’s losing energy. The results of this comprehensive assessment serve as the blueprint for the work to be done, whether it’s weatherization or a complete renovation.Learn more about getting an Energy Audit with Accent Builders.
Learn how we can “tighten up” your home and remedy all the problems identified in the energy audit. Whether you home was built a century ago or a year ago it’s never too late for you and your family to enjoy the benefits of weatherization. In addition to lowering your utility bills, indoor air pollution and noise it’s also a perfect time to get tax credits from the Federal Government. Learn more about our two step process to home weatherization.
High Performance Incentive Program
Accent Builders is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new program for 2011. We call it the High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP) which rewards clients who opt for recommended energy upgrades that are above our already high standard specifications. Learn how our High Performance Incentive Program can save you money while increases the efficiency and comfort of your home.