The mass majority of folks building green construction homes there are two components that create green home. The first is the finishing features of the home and the second is the product design and process design.
A large portion of these people don’t know is that although these homes are green based on conventional building methods the fact remains that the majority of these homes could be significantly greener than they are.
This is what quite a few people consider green construction.
FSC (Forest Steward Certified) Lumber – This is local timber that is provided from responsibly managed harvesting. Eco friendly paints Energy efficient appliances (Energy Star Rated) Energy efficient heating and air with programmable thermostats (Energy Star Rated) Tankless water heaters 2 x 6 exterior walls which allow for more insulation installation. Capture and reuse of rain and snow melt and grey water. Low flow or dual flush toilets Solar power Renewable resources such as bamboo flooring, blinds Solar tubes Awnings to protect windows and entries from extreme sun exposure Energy efficient windows and doors.
Here are the ways that the architect and general contractor design and build a home to be considered green.
The actual design of the home to significantly minimize the amount of waste of materials. The design of the home to utilize space for energy efficiency. Positioning of the house on the property on an east/west axis. Materials used i.e. renewable, green, recycled, improve energy efficiency. Methods of construction that will significantly reduce the impact of the land. Methods of building to minimize waste of resources such as power, gas, water, material, and man power. Methods used to reduce waste ending up in landfills such as giving unused building materials to Habitat For Humanity stores, recycling metal and plastic and recycling wood to mulch operations or bio energy plants.
While these methods of green construction are green they are missing two major areas in the home construction. The framing and the insulation are two areas that are being totally ignored. The framing and insulation are the two areas that are responsible for up to 80% of the homes heat transfer.
The solution to this issue is simple. The first step would be to replace wood framing with steel framing. Use a radiant barrier sheathing. Finally, with a continuous ridged exterior insulation you are creating an air tight envelope around the home to prevent air infiltration. These three things combined can reduce utility bills by as much as 60%.