ART Design Build Does GREEN Right

As a responsible community member, ART Design Build has been on the forefront of the Green building movement. Our commitment to the environment is unmatched. For the last several years, we have used waste services who recycle and partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Community Forklift to utilize recoverable and excess building materials. We began using recycled cotton insulation, low VOC paints and water-based floor finishes before it was trendy. Our HVAC systems have evolved as we understand more about the importance of fresh air. One of our project managers sits on the Green Building Project awards panel and the rest of our project managers will be certified by NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) as Green Certified Professionals before years end. We have three basic principles we look at when thinking about the Green aspects of one our remodeling projects.

Greening Our Resources

Impacting more than your just home, Green building promotes the use of local and indigenous products and materials that help stimulate local businesses and support a diverse economy. This keeps money working in our community and reduces energy consumption because there are less transportation costs. As a remodeler, using resource-efficient materials can helps us reduce waste and the materials often perform better than the traditional alternatives. Examples of such long-lasting materials and their applications include decking made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, durable tile or linoleum for floors, 50-year roofing materials, and fiber-cement siding. These products outperform their traditional counterparts by reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

ART Design Build can offer a diverse selection of alternative materials like engineered wood products that make efficient use of wastewood pieces, reducing environmental impacts of the wood industry. Recycled-content products productively use materials that would otherwise need to be hauled to landfills, and also reduce costs and impacts of producing products from virgin materials.

As part of our commitment, ART Design Build works with suppliers that have designed many kinds of systems to save lumber by using engineered joists and beams that require minimal trimming and boring for mechanical runs. Choosing the right materials is a complex task even without considering the environmental and health impacts of extracting, manufacturing, shipping, living with and disposing of each product. By choosing environmentally certified wood, we support well-managed forests. Another responsible option includes salvaged wood (from riverbeds in addition to old buildings). These kinds of products and more are available to our ART Design Build customers to help promote and support Green building.

Greening Our Energy

With homes accounting for roughly 31% of the electricity consumed, it is clear that we have a significant role to play in helping society address energy-related concerns now and in the coming decades. We can incorporate Green building construction practices and products by using energy efficient materials while building a “tighter” home with adequate insulation and air sealing to prevent HVAC loss. ART Design Build offers materials specifically designed to keep a house nearly air-tight. As a builder, we can improve the quality and increase the effective R-value of the homes thermal boundary, or “envelope” using advanced framing techniques, continuous insulation and other insulating materials. ART Design Build offers Icylene and other energy efficient insulation materials as well as air sealing products that reduce air infiltration. With less outside air infiltrating the home, the indoor climate is much easier to control.

Another energy efficient tool is the use of LED lights instead of the regular incandescent bulbs, and Energy Star appliances that are certified to meet strict guidelines about how much electricity they require to operate. Also by installing energy efficient windows, appliances, lighting and other household equipment all help add to the savings and keep monthly electricity bills low. Up to 65% lower! With energy prices rising and non-renewable fuels being depleted, an energy efficient home is an asset we can all appreciate for years to come.

Greening Our Indoor Environment

Air-tight houses are critical to energy efficiency, but an an unwelcome result is indoor air quality that is five times more polluted than the air outdoors. Fortunately, the building products industry is responding to these indoor pollution problems by developing safer products, including low-VOC paints, cleaners and adhesives. These products are now available to ART Design Build clients at costs comparable to conventional products. Chemicals emitted from building materials can be a potential source of health problems when they are not properly addressed.

Green building encourages use of products and materials that reduce or eliminate sources of indoor pollution. These include a wide range of products such as low-VOC paint, solvent-free adhesives, and water-based wood finishes that not only eliminate many of the suspected and known carcinogens, but often perform better than traditional products. For example, cabinets, counter tops, and furniture are often made from pressed wood products such as particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which are typically manufactured with formaldehyde-based adhesives. This formaldehyde can off-gas into your home for years. Unfortunately for your family’s health formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, it can also cause watery eyes, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Paint and floor finishes can also contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that are not healthy to breathe, especially for small children. Ventilation is also key to keeping and maintaining indoor air quality for healthier living. A Green building utilizes a fresh-air ventilation system to exhaust the stale indoor air to the outside, bring in fresh air and conserve energy. Green building practices encourage well-sealed duct systems, sealed combustion gas appliances, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and a balanced or slightly positive pressure ventilation system, which work together to improve indoor air quality and keep the home comfortable and healthy. Adequate ventilation is also important as it can reduce the potential for mold growth and buildup of allergens and other particulates. With tighter construction of the exterior envelope, adequate ventilation allows excess moisture to escape so it doesn’t get trapped in your home’s living space and building cavities, causing health problems for your family and moisture damage to the building components.

If you care about sustainability and the environment, then ART Design Build is your go to builder.