What does "Building Green" actually mean?
Its a good question. And it deserves a good answer. A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants. Benefits of a green home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a green home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home.
Many companies today claim to be "Green Builders". We thought it necessary to define "Green Builder" if we were going to become one. There are any number of "Green Building" practices available to home builders. These range from simple, inexpensive practices that result in an energy efficient home to more expensive approaches such as solar or geo-thermal heating and exotic "green" materials that do not emit harmful gases into the environment. The list is long and getting longer. A "green builder" should have as a goal to build a home that has the least impact possible on the environment and requires the least amount of energy to sustain. The following categories are what we concentrate on as a Green Home Builder.
Energy Considerations Energy savings of up to 50% can be realized just by incorporating some of the following techniques.
Air Seal and Insulation
Sealing and insulating the "envelope" or "shell" of your home -- its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors -- is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates savings of up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of the total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating properly.
As the home is under construction, we are incorporating strict practices in sealing the outer envelope of your home. All homes are wrapped with house wrap and all seams and connections to windows and doors are taped according to Georgia Energy Code and EnergyStar requirements. We also use a seal under the walls of the home where it sits on the foundation. This prevents air losses and leaks which can zap a home of heating and cooling causing high energy bills. We pay particular attention to weather stripping around all windows and doors.
One of the best investments a homeowner can make in their new home is to provide adequate insulation. We adhere to Georgia Energy Code and Federal Energy Star requirements for all insulation in your home. This includes higher R-value insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings of your home. Read more about Air Seal and Insulation at:
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills, and your comfort.
We also comply with Georgia Energy Code and federal Energy Star requirements for the heating and cooling systems in our homes. A 13 SEER rating is the minumum efficiency rating we use with heat pumps. In addition, all duct work is insulated and sealed to the system for minmal heating and cooling loss. We also seal all vents and air returns to the floors, walls and ceilings to prevent additonal losses. As of 2009, the minimum SEER rating for North Georgia will go to 14. We also offer dual fuel systems which are hybrid electric/gas systems which can provide you with even more options in controlling your energy costs. Read more at:
The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills — nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. Programmable thermostats on all heating and cooling systems alow you to minimize energy consumption while still maitaining a comfortable home. Read more at...
Windows and doors can be one of your home's most attractive features. They provide views, daylighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. We work with the homeowner to select windows and doors that meet their design and aesthetic requirements, but more importantly, energy efficiency requirements. All of our windows and doors comply with Georgia Energy Code and Federal Energy Star specifications. All glass is at least double pane, argon gas filled, low-E to provide you with the minimum heating and cooling losses resulting in lower energy bills. Read more at...
ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light but uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produce 75 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. You can save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. Ceiling fan/light combination units that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 50% more efficient than conventional fan/light units. This can save you more than $15 per year on utility bills. ENERGY STAR lighting is an option in all of our homes. Read more at:
When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR model. We use ENERGY STAR appliances in our homes. Read more at...
Water heating currently represents up to 17 percent of national residential energy consumption, making it the third largest energy user in homes, behind heating and cooling, and kitchen appliances.There are various types of energy efficient water heaters. Among them are high-performance gas storage, whole-home gas tankless, advanced drop-in or integrated heat pump, solar, and gas condensing. Other methods can also help reduce energy consumption for water heating including having more than one water heater and centrally locating the water heaters and insulating the heaters and all hot water pipes. Read more at:
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air, and according to the EPA, is considered to be one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes. Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variey of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint.New environmental regulations, and consumer demand, have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint. These new paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health. Read more about paint and indoor air quality at....//www.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_paints.htm
Why does indoor air quality matter? People are increasingly concerned about mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals commonly found in homes. In fact, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies show that levels of air pollution inside the home are often two to five times higher than outdoor levels. And poor indoor air quality is associated with a host of health problems, including eye irritation, headaches, allergies, and respiratory problems such as asthma.
How can building practices help improve indoor air quality? Builders can employ a variety of construction practices and technologies to decrease the risk of poor indoor air quality, including careful selection and installation of moisture control systems, heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) equipment, combustion venting systems, and building materials. Homes with the ENERGY STAR Indoor Air Package are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and are designed to have improved indoor air quality compared to code-built homes. Read more about indoor air quality at... //www.epa.gov/iaq/
OUR ENERGY and Environmental Certifications
Mountain View Home Builders is a proud builder of ENERGY STAR labeled homes.
ENERGY STAR qualified products and practices help you save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE. The ENERGY STAR label also designates superior energy performance in homes and buildings. Click the Energy Star logo for more info.
Mountain View Home Builders is a certified EarthCraft House builder. We are regularly receiving the latest education and training concerning cutting edge green building techniques. Our approach incorporates the use of renewable resources, energy and water use reduction, increased indoor air quality, reduced waste and recycling. Click the EarthCraft House logo above to find out more about building an EarthCraft House as your new home.
NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING PROGRAM
Mountain View Home Builders is also certified under the National Association Of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program. We build to NAHB's National Green Building Standard. We hold a Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation from NAHB. NAHB Green is rapidly becoming the national standard for green building. It was developed in conjunction with the International Code Council (ICC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The resulting ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ is the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Standard defines green building for single- and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects, and site development projects while still allowing for the flexibility required for regionally-appropriate best green practices. Click on the NAHB logos above to learn more about these green building programs.
Watch Video PodCast On What You Can Do
To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
We are a certified Georgia Power Energy Star builder. This means that we adhere to the federal Energy Star guidelines and are certified by Energy Star as a builder. We use Energy Star required materials and techniques in the construction of your home. This includes everything from insulation and materials to lighting and appliances. To learn more about how you can build an energy efficeint home, Click the Georgia Power logo above.
We are a certified "Right Choice" builder with Jackson EMC. This indicates that we incorporate energy efficient practices in the construction of your home. We are inspected at several points in the building process by Home Diagnostic Solutions, Inc., an outside energy code compliance company. They insure that we are incorporating the best energy conservation techniques into the home. Things like insulation, air sealing, energy efficient windows and doors and many other things that provide you with a comfortable home with minimal energy costs. Click the Right Choice logo for more info.
We are partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy as a member of their "Builders Challenge" Program. By participating in this challenge, we have agreed to build green homes that score 70 or below on their EnergySmart Home Scale.
Learn More about the "Building America -Builders Challenge" Program and how buying an EnergySmart home can save you money and reduce energy consumption by Clicking the logo to the left.
We are also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED addresses all building types and emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality.