New Home Design and Construction
It is important to design your new home the way you want it to look and how you want it laid out and then look at how to improve the design using energy saving techniques. A number of energy efficient buildings do not look esthetically pleasing and therefore have less of a sales appeal.
Some of the issues to consider:
- Building orientation: Is effected by climate, solar positioning, wind direction, ground material, and water management and of course desired view.
- Foundation and Soil composition: How should the foundation be designed Slab, basement, or crawl space and insulation levels between slab and ground, around walls and if the crawl space is sealed. Moisture, insect barriers and drainage systems for water management.
- External walls: What type of technology should be used stick frame, Integrated Concrete Forms (ICF) or Structurally Integrated Panels (SIP); insulation materials based on thermal resistance levels, window and door materials based on thermal transmittance and solar heat gain.
- Roofing: Factors to consider are insulation position ceiling or under roof and type based on conditioned or unconditioned space, vapor barriers, radiation barriers, and air and moisture leakage control.
- Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC): Single or hybrid fuel systems. Forced air or hydronic (water) distribution. System sizing based on ASHRAE standards.
- Water: management for drinking and non drinking applications. Hard water software water. Centralized or tankless. Low flow appliances.
- Lighting: Establish which combination of products best fits the application and the energy requirements.
- Landscaping: hardscape alternatives, water management, drainage and storage, and environmentally acceptable plant and tree selection.
The above and more energy reducing products and practices will be selected based on meeting Energy Star, LEED and the client’s requirements.