GREEN FEATURES - Construction Considerations
Attention to detail and scheduling are essential to the construction of a truly efficient home. Robert Lucke Homes evaluates and incorporates the following options into the bidding and construction of every home:
- How will the sun's access and latitude affect the heating and cooling requirements of the home?
- Are there planned outdoor areas that will be affected by the sun's access or shading?
- What is the direction of the prevailing wind?
- Will the home experience cold winds in the winter or are there wind blocks?
- Will there be breezes in the summer months that will help to reduce cooling costs?
- Are there planned outdoor areas that will be affected by the wind?
- What are the directions of prevailing snowfalls and drifting?
- Will the home's location increase or decrease the amount of snow removal required?
Current Water and Drainage:
- Evaluate the site's current drainage patterns and design your home to incorporate as much of the natural drainage system as possible. This will minimize the possibility of future water damage, while retaining as much of the current site topography as possible.
- Locate rooms/spaces with little or no HVAC requirements such as garages, breezeways and storage rooms toward the colder areas of the site, if the home is being built in cold climates.
- Evaluate appropriate window locations and views.
- Limit the number and size of windows on the north and south sides of the house in cold climates.
- Limit the size and number of window areas in the home's service rooms.
- Home buyers should purchase high-efficiency appliances such as clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers and refrigerators, especially if these appliances will be used frequently. Because all major appliances must have an EnergyGuide label, read the label carefully to make sure you have selected the most efficient appliance.
- Energy efficient lighting not only reduces the owner's cost for operating the fixture, it also helps keep energy bills down by producing less heat, thereby reducing cooling requirements. Fluorescent lighting, both conventional and compact, is generally the most efficient lighting available for home applications.
- Lighting controls, such as timers and dimmers, can also contribute greatly to energy savings.
- All exhaust fans should include a backdraft damper. The damper closes when the fan is not in use and helps to stop conditioned air from leaving the home. It is also recommended that no exhaust fans terminate or exhaust into the attic space.
- Low water use fixtures such as showerheads, faucets and toilets can reduce water use by nearly half. Although water costs in many areas of the country are low, many municipal systems use large amounts of electricity to provide water to their customers. Installation of these types of fixtures can help to keep a community's future electrical supply costs lower.
- Installing light colors on exterior building surfaces such as roofing, siding, stucco and face brick helps to reflect the sun's rays which reduces the amount of heat transferred into the home. This will help reduce cooling costs as well as the damage that can occur when extreme temperatures build-up in attics and wall cavities.
- Light interior color selections for wall, ceiling and floor surfaces helps reflect natural light that enters through windows and skylights and helps to reduce the need for artificial lighting.