One of the most exciting areas of new home construction has been the explosion of options in energy efficiency and environmentally sound construction. As a general rule, all of our homes are built with spray foam insulation within a sealed attic system. On average, a home insulated in this way will be 30% to 60% more energy efficient than a comparable home with standard cellulose insulation. Of course, the other benefits are attic storage that will remain within a few degrees of the living area of the home, less dust and allergen infiltration, and better sound dampening against outside noises. In conjunction with the sealed attic system, we install humidity sensing thermostats and de-humidifiers to our air-conditioning systems to maintain comfort and prevent any humidity build-up within the home. Of course, we will use traditional insulation systems at the Homeowner’s request with the application of many of these concepts to insure the most efficient home possible.
In areas where we have natural gas, or the Homeowner chooses to install propane gas, we strongly encourage the installation of tank-less hot water heaters. These units only heat the water when hot water is called for, instead of constantly heating a full tank. This dramatically decreases the energy cost associated with hot water heaters. In addition, since there is no tank involved, the Homeowner does not have to deal with the hot water running out or the tank leaking.
Although more of a way to conserve water instead of electricity, the plumbing in all of our homes is run with a manifold system. Using this system, one main water line is run into the slab; usually at an exterior wall; and then run into a manifold which disperses lines to the individual fixtures throughout the house. Since the sealed attic maintains the attic environment within 5 degrees of the living space, we can loop the plumbing lines through the attic space. By using Pex plumbing lines and only placing connections at the manifold and the fixtures, we can eliminate the possibility of a connection coming loose in the attic. Because water is only flowing to the unit requesting it, a home with this system will use an average of 20% less water than a traditionally plumbed home. Also, since each fixture has its’ own place on the manifold, fixing a leak involves turning the water off the specific fixture instead of having to turn off all the water in the home. But, the most important feature of this system is that we are able to get the water lines out of the foundation of the home. The vast majority of foundation failures are caused by leaking pipes within the foundation. By using the manifold system, we eliminate this possibility.
Of course, we are capable of installing all manner of specialized systems from photovoltaic solar systems to wind turbines. We have also installed water collection systems of varying sizes and complexities. We will continue to remain at the cutting edge of this aspect of our industry, with an eye towards improving the systems we have and staying up to date on the new break throughs as they happen.