Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Joe Wackerbauer - Benifits of Built Green™ homes

I ran across this great article on green built custom homes and the benefits of building green and I have posted for your convenience.
Joe Wackerbauer
Built Green™ is moving the home building industry forward in producing quality homes and enhancing healthy living. These benefits extend beyond the walls of your new home. Built Green™ is helping to ensure that these benefits are available to all homebuyers who purchase a home that meets Built Green™ standards. By choosing energy efficient options you'll be making a choice to help protect our environment for the future as well as make a difference to your bank account today.

Energy Efficiency. As energy costs take a noticeable chunk out of homeowner budgets, using energy wisely is being widely promoted. We also need to be aware of the source of our electricity. (For example, in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, non-renewable resources such as coal is predominately used in the generation of electricity.) Next to a mortgage, energy costs are the most significant household expenditure. An energy efficient home offers lower energy costs.

Comfort. A less drafty home with improved ventilation increases the homeowners control of humidity and temperature. Appropriate design and orientation can take advantage of the sun's warmth in the winter and reduce the sun’s impact in the summer.

Water Efficiency. Given past drought conditions experienced almost everywhere in Canada, water is becoming a precious resource. Installing water efficient appliances such as low-flow fixtures or dual-flush toilets, Energy Star washing machines and dishwashers along with water aerators on the faucets and showers can significantly reduce the amount of water a household consumes. Planting a water-wise landscape also reduces the water demand and requires less maintenance while still adding beauty to your home.

Healthier Indoor Air. Tightening a home to make it more energy efficient without adequately addressing the ventilation can create health problems. Built Green™ encourages well-sealed duct systems, combustion appliances that are sealed and/or direct vented, controlled fresh air and uses interior building materials that reduce indoor air pollution.

Durability and Less Maintenance. Built Green™ encourages the use of building materials that are more durable both inside and outside the home. This reduces maintenance and replacement costs.

Global Benefits. Building a Built Green™ home results in some direct benefits to the owners but there are also benefits to the community and the environment in general. For example, the use of local materials is encouraged, thereby reducing transportation costs and stimulating the local economy. Also, focusing on choosing materials and products made from recycled content reduces the need and energy to extract new materials. They are resource efficient and produce less waste than typical products and usually have a long life-cycle, requiring less maintenance.

Built Green™ homes just make sense. For the building industry to sustain itself, increasingly more efficient and creative ways to build homes without sacrificing the environment and quality of life must be achieved.

To read full articlew click here

For a review of your green custom home build call:

Joe Wackerbauer
Okanagan Custom Homes
250- 809-9519

We can build the Custom Home of your Dreams in Kelowna,Naramata,Penticton, Summerland and Peachland.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Joe Wackerbauer - Green Custom Home Development

Going green is not only a great choice for the Earth it's a big seller for Kelowna and Okanagan custom built homes. Eco-friendly options abound for custom home builders: Save water in the kitchen, reduce electricity use in the office and cut back on volatile organic compounds in building materials.

Custom home developers employ a multitude of techniques to decrease a home's carbon footprint. Some of the most common steps are installing solar panels and energy-efficient appliances and using low-flow toilets. But, there is much more available to developers of custom homes, such as using recycled building materials and installing radiant floors.
  • 1. Educate yourself on the requirements to become a green custom home builder and to understand the constantly evolving greener home options.

  • 2. Find local providers of eco-friendly materials. In custom home development, a contractor is more likely to keep customers happy by providing many options.

  • 3. Custom home community developers benefit from building green homes because the entire neighbourhood boasts a low carbon footprint.
For a review of your green custom home build call:

Joe Wackerbauer
Okanagan Custom Homes
250- 809-9519
Okanagan custom built homes
Green Built Custom Homes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe Wackerbauer - Green building in a nutshell!!

So what exactly is green building or sustainable architecture? What are the main principles behind this concept? Below is an overview of the principles underlying this growing trend. Green building first and foremost as a method of designing buildings in such a way that resources are used responsibly, focusing on the protection of the environment and occupants’ health, while ensuring the building’s long-term profitability. In other words, green architecture relies on structures whose design, construction and use have been thought out with a view to using energy, water and material resources efficiently. In addition, in green building, prime importance is given to the health of its occupants and, in the case of work environments, improvement of personal productivity.

Benefits across the board

Home Builders recognize that building according to eco-friendly criteria may appear expensive at the outset. This is because start-out costs in the green building approach are generally determined from cost analyses of a project’s entire life cycle. However, once construction is completed, the lower daily operating costs, being actually much lower than those of "traditional" constructions, compensate largely for the initial cost. For homebuilders on a limited budget, nothing prevents the introduction of just a few eco-friendly elements which can be done without significantly raising the costs. Everyone benefits in the end: operating costs are lower, the house and its occupants are healthier, and of course the planet benefits too.

The characteristics of green architecture

Constructions are said to be "green" or "eco-friendly" when they are built according to certain principles relating to choice of site, building materials and architecture.

Material efficiency

Qualities to look for when choosing materials for green architecture have to do with the efficiency of the material itself, maintaining good interior air quality, ensuring energy efficiency, saving and re-using water, and overall affordability. Compliance with these criteria in a green building means working with materials that are beneficial to the owner, to the environment and to the building’s occupants, due to:

  • Lower maintenance costs throughout the building’s lifetime
  • Optimization and conservation of energy
  • Better health for occupants and higher productivity levels
  • Low-cost, efficient configuration of space
  • Flexible design

With a little planning, you can do a lot for the environment and reduce your building costs at the same time. Rooms designed on multiples of 4 feet, for example, conform to standard-sized wallboard and plywood sheets and therefore optimize the quantities of materials used. Oriented strand board, made from engineered wood sheets and which does not require the cutting of mature trees for its manufacture, is a durable, resource-efficient material used in the roof and wall construction of most new homes.

Materials should be chosen for their ability to provide a comfortable environment inside the home, whatever the outside temperature. The secret lies in installing windows and doors made from intelligent, high-efficiency glass, capable of filtering the sun’s rays to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Durable roof coverings, such as steel or fibre cement, reduce the frequency of roof replacement. There are now also solar roofing products that integrate materials such as asphalt shingles, slate or concrete tiles.

You can also reuse and recycle materials salvaged from building demolitions or from the current job site. There are various materials made from recycled products intended for the structural elements of a home, as well as materials designed for the decorative aspects too. For example, some contemporary floor coverings made of rubber or polymer mimic slate admirably – and are also lighter in weight and easier to clean. Other materials manufactured for countertops, walls and floors are composed of 75% recycled glass and 25% concrete.

Wood is also often used in green architecture; it is an essential material in construction and renovation in general and is appreciated for its warmth and decorative charm. There are a number of new wood products on the market, and innovations are constantly being developed in response to the need to protect the earth’s forests. Lumber from endangered forests is increasingly being replaced by that of sustainably managed forests. In the same way, fast-growing species are being increasingly used; bamboo, for one, is enjoying a surge in popularity due to its aesthetic appeal and durability. Locally produced materials are also an excellent choice.

Recycled wood and plastic composites offer excellent resistance, are easy to clean and contain no harmful or toxic elements. Alternative flooring solutions include laminate, natural-fibre carpet or linoleum.

Vinyl is an excellent choice for exterior siding because it is low-cost and requires little maintenance. Fibre-cement siding is water-resistant and carries a 50-year warranty.

Walls, floors and ceilings are built with new types of insulated panels made of rigid Styrofoam insulation sandwiched between wood boards. These new products are recent arrivals on the building market but have already proven their worth as energy efficient products.

Joe Wackerbauer - Okanagan Custom Homes

“We build the Custom Home of your Dreams”

We can build the Custom Home of your Dreams in Kelowna,Naramata, Penticton, Summerland and Peachland