Steps to Green Homes
GREEN PHILOSOPHY & TECHNIQUES
We believe in, and practice building homes that will provide the highest performance using quality materials and techniques which result in energy efficiency and lower fuel bills:
“Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency!” leads to greener homes by using less fossil fuels
Durability of the home, buying local, using FSC and reclaimed materials, low VOC components, high R-Value insulations and windows, make for a greener home.
GREEN is a widely used word in this day and age. We view “Green” to mean a respect for Mother Nature. First and foremost by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and deforestation to build and maintain a home. Building a home meeting those guidelines not only is beneficial for Mother Nature and your children, it will also provide you with the most economical and durable home to maintain. We also view Green to mean the use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products and components, the use of high efficiency appliances, low flow water systems, compact fluorescent bulbs and renewable energy systems such as solar hot water, solar electric, and wind turbines. Always bear in mind changing a completed building shell is nearly impossible, changing appliances, carpets, toilets or adding a solar panel system can be done more easily than changing your walls or windows. With these points in mind we pay special attention to the building shell and to the mechanical equipment sized to heat and cool it.
A Green home is a High Performance home. Homes that give you comfort at many levels, stable and uniform temperatures throughout the home, no drafts, no cold locations or cold surfaces. A Green/HP home also provides noticeably higher quality air and gets rid of moisture, carbon monoxide, dust mites, and formaldehyde issues. Depending on the building shell design, and the renewable energy investment, your utility bills could be 30% to 100% lower than conventional construction practices. Green/High Performance homes are an investment for your family and the planet. Green/High Performance homes are low maintenance, have lower utility bills, and lower total CO2 output.
The following is a description of Air-tightness and Air-changes. Please click on the Insulation tab to understand the importance of insulation, choices of insulations, and how it affects the building shell’s performance.
Air-tightness of the building is a KEY to our formula. Building houses with air leaks is no longer an option in today’s comfort and energy conscious marketplace. To accurately access the factors we distinguish two terms: Air-tightness and Air-Changes so that we can design and effectively customize the indoor air quality to the most safe and efficient level.
- To test for Air-tightness and Air-Changes we use a diagnostic tool created to measure the air-tightness of the home, called a BLOWER DOOR. The blower door consists of a powerful, calibrated fan that is temporarily sealed into an exterior doorway. The fan is set to blow air out of the house to create a slight negative pressure differential between inside and outside. The pressure difference forces air through all holes and penetrations in the exterior building envelope. This allows us to easily find air leaks and later seal effectively.
- The Blower Door can also be used to measure the amount of leakage between the conditioned spaces of a building and attached structural components such as garages, attics and crawlspaces.
- A Duct Blaster, similar to a Blower Door is used to estimate the amount of leakage in forced air duct systems. Important information for systems in basements or attics.
- It is critical to have the proper air changes in your home for safety and durability of your home. A house too airtight will restrict moisture and pollutants from exiting; this leads to both sick occupants and a sick house, full of mold, radon and carbon monoxide. Many homes are regularly built too loose or too tight.
- As a part of our ventilation practice and technique we use the Blower Door to provide a reliable air-change estimate. While not measuring natural ventilation directly, the test provides us with a reliable measure of the air changes passing through the exterior envelope. This estimate can be compared with published ventilation guidelines to help determine the need for additional mechanical ventilation needed to sustain the proper air changes in you home, promoting comfort and excellent air quality.
- While keeping pollutants and mold at bay, houses with excessive air leaks, are very inefficient to heat and cool. By testing and controlling the air-changes we are able to provide you with the most safe and efficient homes.
- There exists a plethora of knowledge, opinions, and studies concerning air-tightness, humidity, and natural air-infiltration. Since the need for ventilation and construction differ from one part of the country to another, we have honed our construction skills and practices to our Island’s own elements.
As a Certified NEHERS Rater the aim is to surpass the standard energy building codes set in 2004 and promote safety and efficiency. With the use of our software calculations, building practices, and as a General Contractor with HERS Rater expertise, achieving any level of energy efficiency can be predetermined and built. We can meet “Energy Star to Net Zero”, or anything in-between. We’ll make your project as efficient and Green as you wish.
A future goal, is to construct LEED homes. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Adam T. Inc. An Island-based Business since 1991