Sustainability (Building Green)
Sustainable—or green—building is an approach that takes into account every aspect of the building process in order to create a home that’s healthy, more economical, and more environmentally friendly.
Though sustainable building used to be considered an alternative approach, the rising cost of energy resources and our growing awareness of environmental issues have made it increasingly popular. And, more and more people are discovering the benefits pay for themselves. Homeowners benefit from a healthier living environment, cheaper energy bills, and reduced maintenance on the home. The environment benefits from fewer airborne contaminants, better use of water and energy resources, and fewer amounts of waste sent to landfills.
At Howard Homes, we believe it’s our job to stay informed on the latest methods of sustainable building, so we can help you make the best choices, today and tomorrow.
There are six areas we take into account when building a sustainable home:
- Economic and environmental considerations—focus on energy resources and water efficiency, waste reduction, construction costs, building maintenance, management savings, insurance and liability issues, employee health and productivity, and the home’s value.
- Pre-design—focuses on your selection needs and implements our “whole-building” approach when creating your building project.
- Site—focuses on site resources and developing a building design that helps conserve energy and materials. This takes into consideration the location of trees for shade, landscaping that preserves natural vegetation and maintains watershed integrity, and the use of sustainable/recyclable materials throughout.
- Building design—focuses on all internal elements of the home, including:
- Passive Solar Design (using daylight, heat, and airflow in a way that’s most beneficial);
- Designing systems for indoor environmental quality (choosing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning [HVAC] systems; lighting; and electrical technologies that support and complement the Passive Solar Design and improve environmental comforts such as air quality and acoustics; and
- Materials and specifications (selecting suitable, environmentally sound materials for construction).
- Construction—focuses on environmentally conscious practices that reduce site disturbance, the quantity of waste sent to landfills, and the use of natural resources during construction. They also assure simplified renovation over the life of the building. These practices are spelled out in the contractor’s specifications.
- Operations and maintenance—focuses on proper maintenance of the home’s systems so they operate most efficiently, provide a healthier environment, and last longer. Considerations include the optimal temperature and humidity, effective ventilation, and removal of airborne contaminants.
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