We are committed to reducing the environmental impact with any of our projects. Naturally site planning is done by the architect or landscape architect and is important in the whole big picture when building. A careful review of the site plan showing hardscape and drainage patterns along with controlling silt until the project is finished. Rain gardens and plantings finish off the color palette at the end of the project. The architect or designer for the building plans should bring up 'green features' in the early meetings.
It is important to discuss, proper overhangs, building materials both recycled and engineered components, utilizing energy saving products, insisting upon energy efficient building systems and mechanical systems, conserving water with new technologies, providing a healthy environment, and recycling building waste. Discussing these features up front is important because these new technologies can impact the cost of building your new home by 20%-30%.
Site planning is another important part of green building that features a careful review of the potential home locations, home orientation (potential southern exposure), and deed restricted or zoning setbacks from restricted areas, septic areas, sewer location, drainage, utilities and neighboring properties.
Energy efficiency is probably the feature that comes to the top of everyone's list when green building is mentioned. Many techniques and practices can be employed to significantly reduce energy consumption that will not only protect the environment but also save money. Common energy efficient principles are situating the garage between the house and prevailing winter winds; installing Energy Star windows, appliances, furnaces and light fixtures; installing an on demand hot water delivery system or solar hot water heating supplies and installing solar tubes or glass blocks for interior light.
Another component of building green is the selection of building materials. How materials are extracted and transported have a significant environmental impact. Several suggestions of green building materials are: using salvaged or regionally produced masonry and stone, using wood that is either engineered, locally produced, recycled, salvaged or from sustainably managed forests, using interior bamboo flooring or reclaimed wood, using recycled roofing materials.
The world's fresh water supply is in danger; therefore, reducing our consumption is an important part of going green. Some ways to reduce water consumption are: using front loading clothes washer, using flow restricted shower heads and a limited number per shower and using rainwater for lawn watering.
M.D. Custom Homes and assist in discussing and evaluating new green technologies and green features.