what's green?

"The question is not what does it cost to do a green building.  The question is what does it cost not to do a green building."  Fox Architects

 

Buildings that are Good for Us

A "Green" home is better described as a high performance home. High performance houses are built with the knowledge that the buildings we live in impact everything: health, finances, nature, our economy, security, and politics. High performance homes are good for us, our families, our country, and our world.  They are healthier to live in, less expensive to occupy, have less of a negative impact on our natural resources, free up discrepancy spending, reduce our reliance on foreign oil (which is suspected funding some terrorist organizations), and focuses our politics on optimizing efficiency. High performance homes are not necessarily more expensive- there may be more up front costs, but, up front cost does not represent the true cost of home ownership. The house must operate, it must be heated, cooled, lit and maintained- high performance homes typically have lower true cost.  To date, a house built to Passive House standards, the most rigorous standards in the construction industry, is the best performing home available in the world.

Build Well Once

Building well is affordable but an emphasis on cheap can be expensive.  A green home is simply a well built home that does more than keep rain and wind out (most of the time). It is our intention to build homes that contribute to a healthy world (and people) when there is opportunity to do so.

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There are many advantages to integrating friendly techniques and materials in your home. Products that have no added formaldehyde improve indoor air quality; lumber milled from trees that are grown in managed forests utilize our resources more responsibly; some products use trees more efficiently which preserves forests and habitats for ecosystems that are necessary for future generations; improved insulation keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while at the same time saving you money; utilizing alternative energy will help reduce ozone depleting gasses (and maybe put money in your pocket by selling it back to the utility company), employing building techniques based on building science increases, not only your comfort, but the efficiency and durability of your home.

Once we've built your high performance home, you become the most important component. You control the thermostat, the windows and doors, the light switches, the appliances. You gain as much benefit as you intend. Bad habits have impact. I have not mentioned climate change: it's not important here, most people do not have personal and immediate experience of it. But you are immediately familiar with comfort, maintenance costs, polluted food and bad air. It’s a bonus that good habits and good houses benefit us personally and lessen our negative impact on our water and food, our forests and air.

We are trained in the techniques of building high performance homes.  We are BPI Building Analyst certified: we know why homes fail; we're trained in Passive House: we know how to build homes the right way.  There are many opportunities to help improve the world we live in- for you, your family and our community. Even if we do just one thing of the many possibilities we are making a small positive contribution.

Visit the sites listed below to learn more.

Energy Efficiency Links:

PHIUS - Passive House Institute

Department of Energy – Energy Star program

Climate Change – NASA Climate

Building Science Corp., Somerville, MA

Energy Savers Booklet - Department of energy