Sustainable by Design
November 11th, 2010
Too many designers and builders start with expensive products and technologies in an effort to create energy-efficient homes. It is best to start with simple, commonsense solutions to achieve sustainability by design.
Saving energy is better than producing it. The 80/20 rule is in effect – 80 percent of the opportunities for a high-performance house occur in the first 20 percent of the design process. A home’s thermal-moisture-air barrier system is the most critical aspect of energy performance. Consider using SIPs – structural insulated panels – recognized by EnergyStar as a proven technology to reduce energy use. In addition, the designer must understand the direction of the vapor flow in a house in order to detail the air barrier and high-performance housewrap, remember that the proper installation of the windows is as important as the performance specification for them, and integrate the drainage plane with the window flange and wall flashing.
At BartonPartners we prioritize green building strategies and connect the dots between basic building and sustainable design. We will identify and maximize the energy savings features of building designs to the benefit the owner and occupants through reduced utility bills, lower operational and maintenance costs and increased marketability. We are an Energy Star Partner firm. Energy Star certified homes in climate zones 1-5 achieve a HERS Index of 85, that is, they are 15% more energy efficient than a reference home that is building code compliant.
Reduce consumption, improve health, and reduce environmental impact – this is true sustainability by design.