Saturday, August 02, 2008

Long-Term Benefits to Building a Green Home

I got the feeling from manufacturers in Las Vegas that Oregon may be a pace setter in the "green" movement. Because of that feedback, I thought you might enjoy some excerpts from this interview of NH Architect Jeremy Bonin. Bonin "with his wife Kim, is the principal partner of Claremont, New Hampshire-based Bonin Architects & Associates, an architectural firm not only focusing on post and beam homes, but on green and sustainable design as well. Jeremy is a LEED-accredited professional.

JB: The simple solutions are generally the most effective and cost efficient. This applies to so many aspects of the design of a home; the first, quality of space over quantity of space truly does have a great impact on the livability of a home. A well-designed, efficiently planned home will address all of the same programmatic requirements as a larger home, yet will cost less to heat and maintain over its lifespan, as well as offer more to the family in terms of comfort, warmth and shelter.

From Drab to Fab in 7 Steps - Seminar by Interior Designer Donya Wyland.
When: August 23rd, Saturday 10:30 to 11:30 am.
Where: Landfair Furniture at 1636 NW 15th Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-249-7951
Register online:
Please Register Me

Second, building a sustainable or energy-efficient home should start with keeping whatever energy is expended in heating and cooling in the home. The shell or envelope of the home is where to address this: A timber frame home with SIPs (structural insulated panels) is one of the most impressive and effective ways of going about building a more efficient shell. A SIPs enclosure has minimal thermal bridging as compared to typical conventional stick framing, higher R values and are substantially tighter, allowing much less air into and out of the building through gaps in the construction. SIPs may also be used without a timber frame or as a hybrid, where minimal timber is used in conjunction with the SIPs.

If conventional construction is used, the method of insulating the building may be altered from the conventional fiberglass batt insulation. Using sprayed in expanding insulations such as icynene or other products such as blown-in batt (BIBs) insulation have higher R values and dramatically reduce air infiltration and exfiltration, and also are more efficient. Combining the more efficient and better-insulated shell with high-quality windows and doors results in more of the energy expended to heat and cool the home being kept indoors.

The third aspect, no matter what you choose to do in terms of sustainable options, is to remember to start with the simple solutions. For example, while photovoltaic panels (PVs) are great and the allure of producing your own electricity is strong, if you haven’t situated the home properly on the site to maximize solar gain for both daylighting and passive solar heating, you are spending a substantial amount of money to produce electricity while you are wasting electricity or a fossil fuel to light and heat the home. Daylighting and passive solar heat are free - they need only to be considered while designing the home.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
Post a Comment