Posts Tagged ‘Green Building Science’
Lifetime Homes Serve You
Just posted our first Lifetime Home Survey revision for 2013.
Among the changes since Ocorber’s last quarterly update, we discovered carpet tiles by FLOR, which can be used on the floor, walls or ceiling (e.g. soundproofing). FLOR is neat for a few reasons aside from its array of colors and being made from recycled content. The flexible carpet squares adhere to one another instead of the surface so you can easily replace just one if necessary. The product is also universally designed for multiple applications, tightly woven to promote stability by the very young or anyone with balance or mobility challenges. FLOR is an adaptable alternative for those who don’t want hardwood, ceramic or vinyl flooring.
See this innovative product among many other universally designed applications and features at LifetimeHomeSurvey.com, and please share with those you care about. Lifetime homes serve you, not the other way around.
How does Pretty Good sound?
Think I’m kidding? Serious industry thinkers wonder whether PGH should be a certification or standard, like LEED, net zero, etc. to inform consumers about what they’re buying. For those who don’t know, building TO code is a minimum legal standard of structural integrity, performance and safety. PGH would be just above that low bar. Sound appealing in exchange for your hundreds of thousands?
Here, read about the idea yourself. At first I thought the post was a gag, but April Fool’s Day is next year. This is where consumerism has taken us, sometimes literally as we recently discovered during demolition of a high-end home that had ZERO house wrap and a hole in the roof (nothing under the shingles).
There is some truth to this supposedly serious debate. People buying McMansions during the construction boom weren’t getting PGH, they bought JGE = Just Good Enough as the production builders raced to finish developments. NASCAR pitstops aren’t much faster and nothing has changed.
But seriously, if PGH becomes a bona fide certification, consideration or fad, my industry is in sorry shape. Instead, might we assume responsibility for educating consumers about what’s ideal instead of barely acceptable?
Meanwhile think of Code Minimum as the worst, legally approved standard. Pretty good wouldn’t be a whole lot better.
Why do you cost more?
Quality, and we refuse to do anything inexactly.
In construction, there’s EXACTLY and not exactly. You’ll hear others say we do things “right” (to them or you?) or “correctly” (I sure hope so!). But there’s no arguing exactly.
For example, air sealing and painting. You’re either exact or inexact. Being exact takes time, care and triple checking. If you’re not air-sealing exactly, then you’re leaching air, which technically isn’t “sealed”. (You’ve likely seen inexact painting so I won’t elaborate.)
What would you prefer for your home? Exactly or not exactly?
You get what you pay for in design and construction, and most often you get less.
Exactly HOW Windy?
So VA Master wind turbine installer Jeremy Hayes of Skyline Turbine erected an anemometer (try saying that 10 times fast, or even once!) to record for three months the wind speed, pressure and direction. The test will confirm wind power potential and provide data to calculate whether power needs can be met.
A Nation of Old Homes
Seen this house? Like me, you might’ve grown up in one, or come home to it daily. Did you know that more than half of our nations houses were built more than three decades ago? Review the data and graphs within The Current, and learn about our concept of building new within old walls.
Cable shows have romanticized fixing up old houses; but, assuming structural integrity, you’re pitching money if you don’t completely retrofit, modernize the systems and tighten the building envelop (i.e. proper air sealing and insulating).
There’s nothing wrong with renovating to a traditional STYLE of house, the problem, many owners focus only on fixtures and finishes and lose sight of the house as an integrated system. Brushed nickel looks spiffy but $400 electric bills aren’t warm and fuzzy. They’re pouring money into putting lipstick on a functionally and operationally, obsolete pig and will continue bleeding money monthly heating and cooling outdoors.
A new building code is now taking effect and best practices the last five years in green building science and universal design correct many design and construction mistakes of the past, so those inclined to renovate an older home can achieve a traditional look along with energy and social sustainability. Just remember when looking at these properties, we no longer build that way for a reason, not all oldies are goodies.