Green Building Basics

The term "Green" has quickly become the most frequently used buzzword in the industry. So what's all the fuss about? If the concept of going green is new to you, or if you're uncertain about the reality of green building in today's market, you're not alone. In fact, the recent explosion of green design has generated so much discussion and information that many builders, developers, architects and planners have been left scratching their heads, wondering where to begin. Let's start at the beginning and help you find your way through the forest of green.

What is "Green"?

Pearson Building Pursuits Green Efforts

• Engineered Roof Trusses
• Engineered Floor Joist
• OSB (chip board) for Floor, Roof & Wall Sheathing
• Windows & Doors that meet Energy Star Requirements
• Seal around Windows, Doors, Receptacles and Switches boxes with spray foam
• Blown-in Wall and Ceiling Insulation to meet Energy Star Requirements
• GeoThermal Heating & Cooling Systems • Basement Walls insulated to meet Energy Star Requirements
• Recycle cardboard (approx 300 lbs per house - 5x10 trailer 3' tall full)
• Siding, Cabinet and Light Fixture Boxes
• Minimize Rain Water Runoff
• Energy Star Appliances
• Light Fixtures and bulbs that meet Energy Star Requirements
• Landscaping that helps shade, protect, and absorb
• Continual research the latest products available
• Unused windows, sinks, etc in good condition go to Habitat for Humanity - ReStore in Davenport

The National Association of Home Builders, NAHB, defines "green" quite concisely: Building new homes in a manner that conserves resources. Green home designs address conservation in several ways, and the resulting benefits are encouraging for builders and buyers alike.

Conservation through Efficiency

• Efficient construction processes save time and money. Green extends this idea by blending advanced technology with off-the-shelf materials (like pre-fabricated stairs and railings and concrete block) to actually increase your construction efficiency. Green materials are manufactured from non-depleting resources, often in environmentally-friendly settings, and they typically add less than 10% to your total budget.
• We don't buy cars by the pound, so why do we buy homes by the square foot? This focus on size often leads to inefficient plans that fail to satisfy buyer needs. Green designs create flexible, quality living spaces that don't necessarily require massive square footage. By meeting needs without excess, you can reach niches you may have missed in the past.
• Remember that 10% (or less) construction cost increase? No need to worry. You will make up the difference in no time. A green shell alone is up to 70% energy efficient.

Conservation through Durability

• Green materials have built-in staying power. The availability of durable green materials is on the rise, and with enhanced structural integrity and moisture resistance, green homes can last well beyond traditional expectations.
• Added security, especially in disaster-prone markets (Tornado Alley, hurricane zones, floodplains), is another way green homes conserve resources. Advanced construction methods mean buyers may only build one home in areas where they may have often been forced to build two or three.
• Durability equals low maintenance. By decreasing the need to repaint, rebuild, reseal and replace, green homes conserve materials (and homeowners' energy) long after you move in.

Conservation for Health

• Using green products directly conserves natural resources and preserves the health of our environment. The ultimate goal is to minimize the negative impact of new development.
• Off-gassing has long been a common problem in new construction. Volatile chemicals naturally evaporate from lumber, drywall, caulk and paint. Inhalation of these chemicals is unpleasant at best. Green materials, especially concrete, metal and plastic, greatly reduce off-gassing.
• Air quality can be controlled within each home, but the greatest health benefits extend to the entire world. Properly manufactured green materials reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses, and appropriately landscaped lots and developments introduce natural safeguards against global warming.

Why going Green is Golden

• 68% of all buyers want to live in green built homes.
• Incentives equal higher bottom line
• Fewer warranty issues
• Regulations are beginning to require it


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- Eisenhower School

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