Going Green: What does it mean?
The term green was once best known as slang for money, not anymore! Today “Green” is everywhere, television, newspaper, magazines, grocery stores, even our local coffee shop. What does it all mean? Well that would depend on who you ask? According to Wikipedia, green is associated with regeneration, fertility and rebirth for its connections to nature. As the environment continues to be a hot button, particularly in these election years, more and more companies are promoting and selling green, or environmentally friendly, products.
What does it mean to Horizon?
It means being conscientious in every facet of our business, from daily operations and design, to construction and warranty. Starting with the design phase, we carefully assess the land and blend the home with the natural amenities of the site, capturing views and preserving trees. We take extra effort to minimize disturbance during construction. We incorporate quality energy efficient products. We have implemented schedules that maximize productivity which requires less energy. We remain up to date on advances in technology and how it impacts the home, the homeowner and the end product we build.
According to information received at an International Builders Show in February, the most recent developments and thinking on the Builder “Green” front are…
When building a green home you start with good design and sensitivity to orientation. When orientation is not ideal, use deep porches and/or other methods of shading large glass areas from direct sun.
High quality vinyl or wood windows with double pane, low-e glass are a must for controlling heat transfer, especially when windows are not shaded.
Radiant barrier roof decking and continuous ridge venting greatly reduce attic temperatures.
Properly applied insulation is expected as a starting point. Today there are new spray foam insulation products that are very cost effective and provide excellent indoor air quality.
Air infiltration is the worst enemy of energy efficiency. A tightly constructed home with a properly applied house wrap will greatly minimize infiltration. Today’s spray foam insulation has an added benefit of also providing an excellent barrier to air infiltration through the walls. When the spray foam insulation is applied on the underside of the roof decking in addition to the walls it provides the maximum benefit for the entire building envelope.
New energy efficient air-conditioning equipment, appliances and lighting will lower energy consumption and pay for themselves.
Controlling humidity and indoor air quality can be accomplished easily with the correct equipment and proper planning. Ideal indoor humidity should be between 40% and 50%.
Various green building certification programs are available to help builders create more sustainable and resource-efficient homes. As we evaluate them, we often find that our building practices we have had in place for years have meet or exceed program standards. To learn more about what you can do to “Go Green” visit www.buyenergyefficient.org and www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac.
As the Table Rock Lake area continues to grow we want to maximize our resources and design/build homes that compliment our beautiful community. In our opinion it is always a great time to consider green!