Green Building encompasses many different areas and disciplines. Broadly, we aim for buildings that behave more like a biological entity – homes that need no water or energy inputs to operate, are made from rapidly renewable and ecologically-friendly materials, and support good health, both inside and out.
This is not some pie-in-the-sky dream. The technology exists today and represents a good investment in your home. It’s also a great way to diversify your portfolio. We look forward to the day in the not-so-distant future when these technologies are commonplace and easier to invest in.
To optimize a home now, no matter what the level of investment, there are some key areas to look at when building green.
A building site is more than just a place to put a house. Each site, even in an established neighborhood, has attributes that should be evaluated for their ability to save energy or promote native wildlife. Meadowlark Builders carefully looks at each site with regard to orientation, topology, water features, and local biology.
HOME ENERGY ANALYSIS AND MODELING
It is important to help our homeowners chart a path to energy reduction through a “house-as-a-system” approach. Understanding how insulation, air-sealing, HVAC systems, windows and doors, water distribution and management, lighting, and appliances in the home work together as a whole is key to determining how to get the best performance from your home. This whole-home approach also improves the comfort and health of a home’s occupants.
NOT SO BIG® HOUSE DESIGN STRATEGIES
Sarah Susanka, in her ground-breaking 1998 book The Not-So-Big® House, introduced the concept of building a home that favors quality of space over quantity. Not-So-Big designs use a variety of techniques to make smaller homes live large – all the comfort and coziness of home with outstanding functionality and beauty throughout.
One of the biggest components in the deconstruction/construction process is managing the waste stream. The more construction material that can be kept out of landfill is not only better for the environment, but less refuse means less energy used in the transportation of the waste to the dump. Who wants to pay extra just to throw things away?
Using locally sourced products saves money in transportation, utilizes local labor and helps to create strong, viable communities.