When a ‘whole house’ design approach is adopted, construction professionals can effectively improve energy efficiency with little or no increase in construction cost as higher costs may be offset by using a smaller HVAC system or less material. Efficient wall systems enable the construction professional to secure the building envelope and prevent energy loss.
While the focus is usually on the window itself and the energy efficiency and insulation value it will contribute to the building envelope, a thought should also be spared for the material from which the window frame is made. Coupling efficient window framing materials with the right glass options for your climate will give you the most effective window framing systems.
Energy efficient home design relies on effective building envelopes and as these get tighter, some concerns are being raised about poor indoor air quality. This has led many construction professionals to add mechanical ventilation to their designs.
Because glass is a poor insulator, the large amounts of energy that are wasted trying to keep the interior of office buildings and schools comfortable make glass unviable for those who wish to create an effective building envelope. Designers are torn between form and function, having to compromise either their vision or sustainability goals. Now phase change windows offer a new evolution in energy efficient window systems that will enable designers to let the light shine in.
Since its inception in 1993, Hann Builders has set the standard in custom home building in the greater Houston area. “We have fairly unique weather in Texas and we have to build to keep moisture out while ensuring that each home is as energy efficient as possible,” says founder and president Stephen Hann. With 98 days over 90°F and an average relative humidity of 77.0, effective cooling and accounting for moisture require careful planning and unique design in the Houston climate.
When installing attic insulation, a case can be made for both radiant barrier sheathing with typical types of insulation as well as spray foam insulation. A number of factors should be taken into consideration when choosing between these two, especially the climate zone that you’re building in. Radiant barrier sheathing is inexpensive and reflects thermal radiation to keep attic spaces cool. Spray foam offers insulation and provides some sound proofing from outside noise.
Essex Homes builds over 350 homes each year while maintaining their small-town personal touch and strong commitment to values. They focus on energy efficiency to provide homeowners with effective building envelopes that are environmentally friendly.
Quality and energy efficiency are synonymous with Grayhawk Homes Inc. Want to know founder Dave Erickson’s secret to success? A return to the good old fashioned principles of value for money, good workmanship, genuine care for home owners as well as a healthy respect for the environment.
Plywood and OSB paneling expands and contracts as it adjusts to the moisture content of the building site. Unrestrained by fastening and framing, panels can move an average of 1/8 inch as they acclimatize. Correct spacing of panels will help to make allowances for expansion and prevent buckling of walls, floors and roofs and gaps in the building envelope that will compromise energy efficiency. “Energy savings start with the framing.”
An energy audit is a series of tests run to determine the efficiency with which your building utilizes energy. Whether you are planning a renovation to reduce energy consumption, or have just completed a new build, energy audits establish the efficiency level of your building envelope. Energy audits help to show where you can get the most savings for your building buck and what improvements will give you the best return on investment.