As the well known Albany Capital Region author and publisher of Capital Region Building Magazine, Craig Stevens, likes to say, “There are many shades of green. You can be as green as you want to be.” In other words, a green home can be complicated and high tech or it can be simple and common sense. It’s your choice.
Start with a plan that considers both your budget and your idealism for a green planet. It need not be so overwhelming that the goal is unobtainable. Capital Construction is a custom home builder certified by the National Association of Home Builders ( NAHB ) as a Certified Green Builder ( CGB ). See our green built homes community is Saratoga Springs, NY, Lounden Ridge. This accreditation gives Capital Construction the tools and expertise to guide the home buyer through the process of building a green home.
Use a whole house approach to building green. Consider how all the elements of the house fit together to improve the performance of the individual parts. For example, there’s no point to installing a high quality, energy efficient boiler if the windows are not well made and energy efficient or if the insulation package is low quality.
Design of the structure and site selection should be considered at the same time. Proper placement of the structure on the site respects both the house design and the topographical features of the land. Your house should fit into the site and not be built upon it. At the same time try to minimize your footprint on the land and protect and preserve existing eco systems and natural features so that the built environment and the natural environment are in harmony.
Ideally, the site allows for a home design that places the common living areas, where people gather, in a southerly position to take advantage of passive solar gain. Window placement and an open floor plan create inviting spaces and enhance air flow and energy efficiency while reducing the amount of building materials used.
Careful planning and advanced methods of construction help to reduce the quantities of construction waste that ends up in our landfills. Resource efficient products that are made from salvaged or re cycled and re-used materials are sustainable and responsible choices. The Forest Stewardship Council ( FSC ) certifies materials that meet these standards and guarantees the authenticity of its green label.
The impact of building materials on indoor air quality is hard to underestimate. According to the Federal Energy Protection Association ( EPA ) modern building materials made with toxins coupled with improperly ventilated houses are the primary reason indoor air quality in New York State and the Northeast in general is now worse than outdoor quality. The American Lung Association ( ALA ) recommends using finish materials that have hard surfaces and are easy to clean, i.e., wood or stone floors as opposed to carpeting, because they don’t hold dust and pollen or other harmful allergens. These materials are also more durable and long lasting thereby reducing trips to the landfill and are a sound investment over time. Healthy indoor air quality cannot be achieved with building materials alone. Heating, cooling and ventilation systems are integral to a healthy home and cannot be considered without evaluating their relationship to all the other parts of the house.
This “whole house” approach to building your home is at the core of the green building process. It drives the design and dictates construction methods. It defines and forms the process by which one identifies the environmental attributes of a house and helps in determining what shade of green your home is.Posted in: News & Events | The Latest