The terms - “Green Building or Building Green” and "Sustainable Building Methods and/or Materials" are widely used for higher quality construction in the industry today. We like the practice or the application of "Sustainable Building Methods and Materials" the most. The terms Green and Sustainable are here to stay but it is only by knowledge, experience, conscientiousness and past consequences can we say we implement what is available and eloquently affordable for the spec market and or the client's budget.
We hope that with the pride of ownership and the proper maintenance performed by the owners, we can put together the most Green and/or Sustainable package within budget.
It is because of the ever changing materials, methods and warranty's that these terms have a shelf life only as long as the next proven material and methods take their place. But at the time each method or material is perceived as a higher quality. With each home we build, we maintain that, at least in theory, it is better than the last one built. We try to stay on the leading edge of materials and there warranties. Choosing proven affordable quality products is not without hardships. We stand by the installation of the products but not the failure of the products. That is why we try choose the best manufacture/suppliers that work with owners on warranties like Milgard Windows and Umatilla Ready Mix to name a few. Both are high quality and user friendly suppliers in their own right.
However, each project must be evaluated for the level of green/sustainable construction that is appropriate. All green/sustainable technology should have an associated return on investment that can be defined in terms of value to our clients.
Generally, if you expect to live in your home 5 to 10 years, then these technologies become very viable. Lenders will (should) also adjust their lending ratios to allow you to borrow more money to build a home if commensurate savings in operating costs are achieved.
We are strong advocates that you should put your "green/sustainable money" into building the best envelope of the home, paying attention to the energy efficiency of the wall and ceiling systems, the type of insulation, the quality of windows and doors, as well as the orientation of the home and landscaping to minimize heat gain from the sun. You should then look at the quality and SEER ratings of the HVAC system and ensure that a quality contractor has done an optimal design of the system based on the envelope of the home and the lifestyle of the family. It is critical to use extremely competent HVAC suppliers when dealing with the tighter, better insulated homes that we build. The HVAC system must be properly designed to not only cool and heat properly, but also to introduce fresh air into the home and to control humidity. Remember, the "greenest energy"; is energy that you never use. Design and build with this in mind.
The HVAC system should include programmable smart thermostats and should control temperature and humidity settings. These smart thermostats should be integrated with the home automation system and programmed for day and night modes, at home and away modes, summer and winter modes and other modes that match the lifestyles of the families.
We are constantly evaluating and implementing new technologies and materials for green/sustainable building and believe every project should be analyzed for the appropriate level of design and "construction".