As people are finally waking up to the climate emergency all around them you may be asking yourself if building a new home is environmentally the right thing to do.
Energy efficiency is one thing but choosing materials that are also environmentally safe and renewable is something that needs to be taken into consideration. There are a lot of good reasons to build a new home with sustainable materials and low to zero energy needs. The Epic Builders have been researching building practices like LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and Passive House standards that can do a lot to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower our carbon footprint. Heating and cooling traditionally built homes are massively energy inefficient. When the right materials and building systems are used we can actually have a positive impact on the environment and a beautiful custom home.
Contrary to what many people think about building “green” does not have to cost much more. New building technologies and sustainable materials are developing all the time and becoming cheaper to use. If your custom home costs ten percent more to build but saves you ninety percent on your energy bill your return on investment is suddenly downright good.
Properly insulating the exterior building envelope and sealing it so that there are no leaks or “thermal bridges” is one way of reducing your operating costs. Thermal bridges are places where one material connects or comes in contact with another offer the opportunity for air and therefore temperature to leak. Window frames and wall to roof connections are potential thermal breaks. Windows and doors that are double or even triple-glazed are highly efficient. Walls and roofs are insulated to the building code standard. This results in comfortable indoor spaces. Are you worried that a well-insulated house is going to look like a bunker? Fear not they can be any style, modern rectilinear, traditional colonial or anything in between.
Now you are probably thinking “How do I breathe in this place if it is airtight?” This is where the technology kicks in. Outside air is brought into the house through a ventilation, heat exchange system, not through leaks in the windows and doors or kitchen vent hoods. The heat from indoor activity and appliances is removed from the air before it is vented out. This is free heat that can be used to heat the incoming air which means less energy is needed to heat the house. The same principle is used for summer air exchange only backward. Cool indoor air is used to cool down the outside air as it comes into the house. This system runs 24/7 creating comfortable temperatures and excellent air quality. The insulation of the walls and windows and constant air exchange means less condensation. A well-built well-insulated house can maintain temperatures for days with very little power. The energy needed to heat and cool is much less than heating and cooling a leaky old building. If you put solar panels on your roof as well things can get downright economical.
Finally, a well-insulated house is quiet. Unless the windows are open outside sound stays outside. The music you play doesn’t have to compete with as much ambient noise as a conventional house.
Who wouldn’t want the most comfortable luxurious house ever that also helps reduce carbon emissions?
Building and renovating green can be affordable, ethical and comfortably luxurious all at the same time.