Green Building is not a fad, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Reports of increased expense relates to implementation of alternative energy sources/systems such as photovoltaic arrays, geothermal, and others. A building can be certified economically by using good building practice, attention to detail, and planning the project completely (including land/lot development) before the first blade of grass is touched.
Building systems offer green benefits because the design work must be completed before the components can be build. The decision-making process is accelerated and moved ahead of action. Applying this mindset is fundamental to all the areas that are addressed through green building certification.
Paying attention to the site prior to disturbing any portion of it is a key element to maximizing the green benefits in section 5 of the ICC700 standard. With a strong point count for land developments and building systems, a Silver certification in the National Green Building Program (http://www.homeinnovation.com/green) is very realistic. Focusing on EPA programs (Energy Star, WaterSense, Indoor AirPlus adds even more points as does owner training and education via a good Owner’s Manual and video of the home in process. For a successful project, keep an eye on product certifications and make sure that connecting products are compatible.
How Green Are You?
Log homes qualify for the NGBP certification, but the log portion is just a piece of the overall project and the overall certification. In a sample project (Northern Climate, Hydronic Heating, Few Innovative Technologies), it was not difficult to achieve a Silver rating (out of Bronze, Silver, or Gold). Yet 70% of the points were provided by decisions made by the builder/contractor/landowner. Leaving only 30% of the points for log home producer, the majority of these points were generated by documentation in the plans or construction material.
If you are interested in having a “green review” of your plans and construction manual to see how “green” they are, please contact us.