While home builders are interested in green features, they may be unsure of those that give them the most bang for their energy-saving buck. If you are selling homes with energy-saving features that buyers don’t understand, you are missing a valuable opportunity.
The construction industry is competitive and in order to get ahead, you must consistently deliver quality in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest possible cost. Your most important asset is your team, but many managers have difficulty finding the right people. If you are experiencing a high employee turnover or have trouble finding the right employees, there are ways in which to create a culture of teamwork and support that cultivate a good work ethic
David Sukonick is one of the leading designers and builders of wooden floors for performers with over 300 professional dance floors under his belt. David has undertaken many unique designs and specializes in the sprung sub floor. Says David of his unusual choice in construction design: “It is definitely an unusual field and to my knowledge I may be the only person that specializes solely in the design and installation of custom dance floors.”
When the builder came to us with complaints of telegraphing through his roof shingles they assumed it was edge swell and the fault lay with the roof sheathing. Most often, swollen edges and buckling panels are caused by common installation mistakes.
As building codes focus on environmentally-friendly materials and clients become more demanding, many builders are turning to greener products. The wood industry is one of the leading renewables and has had many decades to perfect its sustainability with certifications and controlled plantations. Many newer products on the market, like bamboo, make lofty promises of sustainability but can actually be quite harmful to the environment.
Many homeowners and home buyers are looking to home rating systems to ensure that their homes reach energy-efficiency targets and to potentially qualify for government rebates. Builders also support home rating systems as they provide a valuable selling point for prospective homeowners. One of these rating systems is the increasingly popular HERS index which has just been adopted as part of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
When comparing the fossil fuel use and carbon footprint of raised wood and slab-on-grade concrete, the APA found that wood used considerably less fossil fuel and contributed less to global warming than concrete.
Efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and contain global warming are affecting the way in which building codes are created and shifting consumer needs. This has resulted in greener building standards which require significant reductions in energy consumption from the building industry in every process from creating building materials, to construction and on to the performance and life cycle of the building itself.
Energy efficient buildings are comprised of a number of different elements including specialized wall and window assemblies, insulated doors, structural elements and mechanical systems all working together to ensure a comfortable environment all while minimizing the expense of utility consumption. Most HVAC systems are still sized by rule of thumb, but taking the guesswork out of your calculations will mean that you get the right sized system for your build.
The building envelope is only as effective as its weakest element and all too often these areas the doors and windows in a home which can account for up to a third of the overall energy loss according to the APA. Not only do these openings lead to energy loss, but as a result of less than appropriate levels of insulation, condensation can occur, which can lead to damage and can cause mold and mildew. Technological advances have seen the creation of advanced window and door systems which prevent energy loss and condensation.
Energy costs that go to conditioning the air in a home add up to about half of its overall energy consumption. Improving the competence of the building envelope and using insulation with R-values that exceed those stipulated by the local building code will help to reduce the homeowner’s energy consumption.