So, what is Green Building, anyway?

March 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment


Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject

Contributing Writers: Renee Lafair & Alex Ferdman, http://www.GreenPlaces.com
Copyright GreenPlaces 2007©

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We do not believe the answer to be a single definition but rather a philosophy supported by four basic guidelines:

Awareness
Choices
Energy consumption
Waste reduction

Green is about being aware.

There is more to building than what you see when you are standing in the living room. What goes on behind the walls is more important than the type of countertop, the fancy sink or appliance, or the way the door handle feels. We care about every aspect of the home, from the insulation, to radiant barriers, to water efficient toilet bowls, to energy efficient fans, to superb mechanical systems.

Green is about choices.

In every building decision, you make choices. What kind of studs do you use? What kind of mechanical system are you installing? Is it properly fitted for the house? Are you planting high water-consuming foliage? Are you installing lights that add a lot of heat to the interior of the house? Are the windows facing east or west directly facing the sun?

A Green home begins with a Green design and careful planning of the home’s infrastructure and its materials. Considerations such as whether to use a tankless water heater, energy efficient windows and what insulation to use behind the walls are all important choices that affect the overall energy consumption of the house.

When we choose what to build, we consider aesthetics, quality, functionality and cost. What we add to that equation is the degree of impact on the earth.

Green is about energy consumption.

Being aware of the issues and making thoughtful choices lends itself to effectively managing the third guideline: energy consumption. From design of the home to design of the mechanical system, you cannot build green without this being a critical consideration. Building green is about building homes that require less power and water to operate.

Green is about waste reduction.

From demolition to construction we try to be the least wasteful possible with material use. We recycle when possible without compromising on quality. We also use products that are more friendly on the environment. These include more efficient appliances and fixtures, mechanical systems, and plumbing infrastructure.

Finally, Green is about consulting the best in the business.

In our opinion, the best are right here in the City of Austin’s Green Energy Program. We are following their guidelines. They have been doing this almost longer than anyone and are great at what they do. They are going to help change the way not only Austin builds, but the rest of the country as well. We are committed to help support their mission by building green.

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