In Austin, Home Builders Build Green Homes That Are Friendlier to Nature

Austin, Texas offers a lush landscape in a warm climate. If you’re considering buying a home here, it makes sense to get a green home. There are Austin home builders who build homes with energy-efficient features and fixtures that let you reduce your environmental footprint.

Green living is something more homeowners are adopting as a way to conserve resources and be friendlier to the environment. In the neighborhoods in and around Austin, many homes are located in wooded sites or very close to green spaces. For instance, the neighborhood of Meridian along Mitra Drive features homes in heavily wooded areas. Likewise, the neighborhood of Mueller near the University of Texas feature homes located near miles and miles of hike and bike trails.

As a homeowner, you may be concerned about the impact your day-to-day activities have on your community and the world around you. When you look for a new home in Austin, keep in mind a few home features that help you lessen your impact on the environment.

Energy-efficient air conditioning and heating systems allow you to use less power. Not only do you save on monthly electricity bills, you also help reduce power emissions. In addition, homes that are built with more efficient ductwork are more resistant to leakage and thus need smaller air conditioning systems.

Homes with fixtures like water-saving or low-flow shower heads and faucets let you reduce water usage. Other fixtures that help to conserve water are energy-efficient dishwashers and commodes.

An efficient ventilation system can improve indoor air quality by clearing the air of pollution from trash cans, litter boxes, smoking and cooking. Homes that are constructed to have a tighter environment also do not get as many drafts. This can help you cut down on heating.

These are only a few of the many features to look for when buying a green home in nature-oriented Austin. Home builders that incorporate green features in your home can help you live more comfortably with the natural landscape just outside your door.

Green Buildings Are the Wave of New Commercial Buildings – Green Homes and Renovations Save Money

Green buildings are the wave of new building improvements. Green homes, home renovations and products also save money! It is my opinion that most people may be uninformed about the many benefits in green homes,green home renovations and eco-friendly products and practices.

Building construction is evolving and becoming more in-line, in America, with how buildings are constructed overseas. It is our responsibility to build our homes and office buildings in agreement and respect for our planet.

Environmental consciousness is a part of our perceived agreement to be aware of planetary and environmental health in consciousness to satisfy or hopefully,supersede our human responsibility by impacting the factors of our responsibility of our responsibility in the equation, for a healthier planet, while living in harmony with nature and the elements.

Collective planetary preservation is a gain for attaining an advantageous edge over the years of work that is needed to complete our life mission of global building change- beneficial towards a healthier planet for man-kind, immediately and intensively required for the betterment of nature, the elements,and humanity.

Building construction is evolving and becoming more in-line, in America, with how buildings are constructed overseas.

For example, the interior walls made of steel and concrete, in lieu of expensive wood, thus saving our trees and rainforests, by protecting the ecology and the surrounding wildlife that calls these resources home. Natural products that flourish in other parts of the country can also be entertained for more environmentally-friendly solutions to the human appetite for expansion of buildings and homes..

Products such as cotton fiber, Icynene foam and cellulose are fast gaining recognition,application and appreciation in the construction industry. The most recognizable product is cotton. Ever noticed the rising cost of cotton? For an important reason:it is quickly being sought by home builders and home renovators. The cotton material used will be made from recycled batted material; treated to be fire-proof.

Certain building products offer increased durability and help in sealing the building envelope. It is estimated that the lifespan of metal roofing is more than 50 years. Concrete and copper roofing products are expected to last a lifetime.

In commercial buildings, innovation can also help cut cost and have many benefits.

A building can be rated platinum, silver, or gold based on performance via LEED checklist (LEED stands for is the Leadership in Energy and environmental Design).

The rating is a point system based on-

*building materials;

*amount of natural lighting

*heat/cool efficiency

*water usage.

*Lot selection;- positioning of the home reduces the energy usage of the home

* Making even more changes by choosing to seal the building properly-

Sealing the building envelope; Reduces air leakage- into and out of the home.

How do you seal your building envelope? You can contribute by sealing the duct system, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations,doors,windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets. Holes need to be sealed around all penetrations including gaps being filled too! Sealing is saving and using less to heat or cool your area with improved sealing and outlet options for more energy efficiency as the goal.

Many public buildings, homes and universities are following suit and learning that the benefits of the initial cost of materials may in-fact pay for itself as the lower cost of building,heating and cooling energy costs are decreased due to the factors listed above. ** Another benefit is a healthy home- a home built to withstand the test of time.

**The U.S. Green Building Council estimates new savings of $50-$65 per square inch for positively constructed green buildings. In the area of the country,where I live, one university has been a standout, at least in the initial process, by building a combined heat and power plant on campus that will produce a third of the electricity needed on campus using natural gas – saving about $2.5 million a year. Here in central Florida, as the nickname and initials suggest, UCF- University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida or UCF- You can’t finish), is far from slowing down their aggressive construction schedule. Future projects are always entertained, ongoing, or in process. What makes U.C.F. different from other universities in the state, per Ms. Lee Kernek, said,”that the plant will be designed, owned and operated by the university.” Ms. Lee Kernek was, associate vice president of administration and finance at UCF in central Florida at the time of these initiated, strategic business and ecological decisions and I am sure that the initiation of her efforts will always be appreciated and recognized here in Orlando, Florida!

By November of 2011, UCF -( University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida),was able to use their energy even more effectively with the combined heat and power plant set to open. This green edition should be able to produce a third of the electricity needed on campus using natural gas – saving about $2.5 million a year. This was initiated a few years ago and upon further investigation, at the time of my latest researched update (last Updated in 2012), the construction efforts were carried and continue progressively. Many other universities and commercial builders took these innovations and renovations to heart and followed suit with more forethought for our environment and the effects of building, in unison with nature, that adds up to money- saving benefits as well!

*** Living on our planet is important; sustaining our environment is also important by being aware of the planet and everyone on it. Being aware of the results of proper building materials and the multi-level benefit to our environment, essential for humanity, nature, the elements and our posterity and with expanded actions and thinking we can save time and money in our efforts! Collective planetary preservation by changing the way that we build and maintain our buildings, homes and other structures is a gain for attaining an advantageous edge over the years of work that is needed to complete our life mission of global building change- beneficial towards a healthier planet for mankind, immediately and intensively required for the betterment of nature, the elements,and humanity.

I enjoy learning from you and from others offering me knowledge continuously!

Building Green With Engineered Wood

Building green encompasses many different aspects of the building process. It means using construction materials that come from renewable sources, that are environmentally friendly and toxic free, and that minimize waste and carbon emissions. Building green can be as simple as using recycled building products, insulating to reduce energy waste, or decreasing the size of the structure itself. There are many ways to build green that can lessen the impact on the environment.

With building green becoming more important within the construction industry, it is time that all aspects of building green be explored and utilized in new home building or remodeling. One significant product that will enhance green building is the use of engineered wood also known as engineered lumber in as many areas of the construction as possible. Engineered lumber includes, i-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), rimboard and plywood.

These products are more environmentally friendly than dimensional lumber in several ways:

  • Engineered lumber products can be fabricated from wood by-products produced from the traditional milling process. Engineered lumber products use smaller pieces of wood and wood chips bonded with resins to create structural and dimensionally stable building components, thereby reducing the need to harvest larger trees to achieve lumber of the same size.

  • The resins used as the bonding agents in modern engineered wood products are formaldehyde-free and eco friendly.

Using these products in building green homes will not only help to reduce our impact on the environment, but when used appropriately will also save in construction costs, will provide a better structure, and have a longer lifespan than traditional lumber products.

  • Some I-Joists can be ordered precut to the exact dimensions that are required for the construction project. This can save in shipping costs, as you are not paying for excess weight, and in labor costs and time at the construction site. When the construction project requires large cross section dimensions or extreme lengths, then engineered wood beams are less costly than large beams of standard lumber.

  • Engineered wood products are much less susceptible to warping or twisting than traditional lumber, thus ensuring that the structure is built truer and will retain its structural integrity better than using standard dimensional lumber. When the project calls for spans of 16 feet or more, engineered wood joists and beams will make the construction easier and will result in floors and ceilings that remain level.

The construction industry is coming around to the advantages of building green, and the engineered wood product industry is leading the way with eco friendly building products. With products that include wooden I-beams, laminate veneer lumber (LVL) and composite material rimboards, all areas of construction lumber are covered with engineered wood products. The industry is continuing to improve the quality of its existing products, while it continues to search for new and innovative ways to use engineered lumber products throughout the construction process.