Why Build Green?
Sustainable building provides economic and health benefits for the homeowner while simultaneously minimizing negative impacts on our planet. The cost of new construction built according to sustainable practices is comparable to the same level of construction done conventionally. However, the cost to maintain a green building is considerably lower in terms of utility expenditures as well as health and environmental factors. Green building simply requires more forethought and planning to ensure sustainability and resource efficiency. Our philosophy of resource efficiency encompasses all phases of a building's life cycle, from design elements to material choice, maintaining a comfortable living atmosphere and on into next-life possibilities.
Site specific design considerations are taken into account to optimize passive solar design and concepts in our projects. We also integrate active solar photovoltaic power, wind generators, solar thermal arrays, grey water systems, and rainwater catchment whenever possible.
The framing techniques we employ including timber framing, post and beam or double-walled framing. Designing with standard material sizes and techniques such as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) allows us to reduce the amount of wood and other materials used.
Our commitment to the environment is further reflected in our use of biofuels in company vehicles, efficient hydronic heating in our office complex, compact flourescant light bulbs for our lighting, the purchasing of wind credits to offset our electrical usage, and recycling of waste materials.
For materials we use sustainably harvested and rapidly renewable materials such as standing dead timbers, straw and earth. Our experience with timber frame construction offers a highly aesthetic and long-lasting structure, while using local sustainably harvested wood efficiently. For example our timber is sourced locally, whenever possible, from beetle kill wood that is selectively harvested by a small local logging operation. Sourcing local materials aids to stimulate the local economy and maintains healthy communities. Our custom homes in Lander use straw bales as an insulation material to provide optimum R-value and, in turn, a high level of comfort for your home. Our use of salvaged materials adds character to your home and prevent usable materials from going to the landfill. We often use reclaimed wood and metals as finish material and other creative material approaches to build the home you desire.
Our highly insulated homes require minimal resources to maintain a comfortable, healthy environment. We offer techniques using non-toxic natural materials which provide a healthy indoor living space. The use of these materials improves indoor air quality and is ideal for people who have allergies or chemical sensitivities.
Into the "Next Life"
And lastly, although our homes are built to last many generations, certain components have a limited life span. In these instances, we recommend materials which can be salvaged for reuse or recycled.
Excerpts on this page were taken from the recen
Winter 2009 edition of "Green Business Quarterly".