Mon Mar 25 2013
Sawyer Homes is participating in the 8th annual Triangle Green Home Tour. We are currently putting the finishing touches on Homes in Woodcroft Estates and Princeton Manor. The tour will be April 13-14 and April 20-21 from 12:00-5:00 pm daily. Come out and view our NAHB Green Certified homes.
If you are in the market for a new home or want to learn about money saving energy upgrades to your existing home please come by. Sawyer Homes is a green certified builder serving Raleigh and surrounding areas of the Triangle.
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Tue Jul 27 2010
Being a certified green builder in the Raleigh area, I am asked the question “how much more does it cost to build green”? The more important question should be what is the cost of not building green? Below are some facts compiled by the U.S. Green Building Council:
- Buildings represent 38.9% of primary energy use in the United States
- Buildings account for 38% of CO2 emissions in the United States
- Buildings account for 72% of electricity consumption in the U.S.
- EPA estimates that 170 million tons of building related debris were generated in 2003
- EPA estimates 209 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated in a single year
Green building techniques emphasize practices that reduce energy consumption, reduce waste, and reduce maintenance costs. Some items can be quantified through cost analysis while others are intangible dependent on one’s values or beliefs.
Energy savings are one way to quantify the cost of a green built home. Through energy modeling we are able to show what effect more efficient products have on utility bills. These models aide in determining whether the increased cost is offset by the lower energy bills. We can also measure how long it takes to recoup the initial investment. Many features that cost more upfront can typically payback in 3-5 years. An investment of $3000-$5000 in green/energy efficient features can yield a 50% savings in utility bills. If this cost is added to a traditional 30 year mortgage it results in a $25 increase in monthly payment. A 50% energy savings in most cases will be more than this $25 increase in payment.
The intangible costs are much harder to quantify because the value is not always seen in the present. We take advantage of clean air, relatively cheap energy, and abundant fresh water sources. As the world population grows so will the demand for housing. Increased housing demand will increase the strain on these resources. If the construction industry wants to be sustainable it will have to conserve and protect these resources. Although a cost analysis can’t always show the true benefit incorporating resource efficient practices. Water conservation, reducing waste, and using recycled content materials will pay future dividends.
The benefits to building green are numerous. It is a positive change to an industry that has not paid much attention to its impact on the environment. It costs a little more to build green but continuing with past building practices without regard for energy consumption will ultimately prove much more costly.
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Tue Jun 22 2010
A certified home is one that is built to a set of standards that are verified by an independent 3rd party. We are proud to be a Raleigh builder that uses an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) rating system developed by the NAHB to certify our homes. Another popular certification agency is LEED which is administered by the US Green Building Council.
The NGBS standard allows us to focus on 6 areas and is flexible enough to allow the selection of different features based on the project goals and specifications. The certified homes we build in Raleigh, Wake Forest and the surrounding areas of the Triangle are all built to this green standard.
You should be wary of a home builder that makes green claims but doesn’t back them up with certification. It is great that the Raleigh green building movement is advancing rapidly as is green home building in other parts of the country. But you need to be able to separate fact from fiction. An independent certification is the only way you can be sure your home is a verified green home.
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Tue Jun 22 2010
One of the fundamental principles behind a green home is to control air quality. We do this by building an “air tight” house with a ventilation system to introduce fresh air back into the home. A tight home is also an energy efficient home. Up to one third of the energy used in a home can be lost to leakage if proper detailing is not followed. Besides rain, air leaks in a home are the biggest factor in durability of your house. Air drafts in leaky homes not only waste energy but can bring moisture into the recesses of your house, causing mold and rot. Although these building science principles have been around for years, they are not regulated so most builders tend to disregard them. Until recently the model building codes have never attempted to address air sealing measures.
To properly air seal you want to make sure all penetrations that are made to the exterior, attic, or crawl space are sealed with foam or gaskets. You also want to make sure that doors and windows have tight seals. This strategy is easy to do on new construction because we can see behind the walls and ceilings.
Air sealing a home is the first and most important step in making a home energy efficient. When done properly the home will be more comfortable to live in and energy costs will be predictable.
Please follow this Green Building Advisor link for more detailed information.
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Mon May 10 2010
Welcome to my blog. I’m Bob Latvala, vice-president of Sawyer Homes, and a certified green home builder serving Raleigh, Wake Forest and surrounding areas of the Triangle. I will post relevant information to the Raleigh and Triangle real estate market, green and sustainable construction, energy efficiency, and general information about Sawyer Homes. I hope you’ll check my blog often. Stay tuned…... more info