Building with environmental sensitivity
and energy efficiency in mind, does not mean living in a cave or foregoing
modern amenities - simply being more thoughtful in product selection, site
and solar orientation, and floor planning. Done well, this results in an
inviting and compelling personal residence, instead of a common house.
There are multitudes of products to choose
from among insulating, flooring, roofing, and painting components - each
with its own compromises between sound value for money, longevity, environmental
footprint and energy efficiency.
Our experience in building green includes
- Passive solar
- Structural insulated panels (SIPs)
- Insulated concrete forms (ICFs such as Polysteel and Rastra)
- Straw bale
along with traditional frame construction. We also encourage
the use of reclaimed lumber, sustainable-harvest wood products and high
efficiency Energy-star appliances.
Building green is looking better all the time!
An exterior wall system rated at R-42 is more than twice as thermally efficient
as standard "stick-framed" walls and still only six inches thick.
This particular system employs polyurethane cells and is virtually fireproof.
Costs are usually close to typical "standard" wall systems.
Insulated Concrete Forms
are reinforced foam blocks that are filled with concrete for a massive (and
eternal) 10" thick building shell.
Offering extremely quiet interiors and R-30 insulation ICF houses give serene
Insect and fire-resistance are added benefits - along with bulletproof walls!
and appropriate overhangs
are critical elements for comfortable low-energy southwestern living.
Deep set patios shade windows from high angle hot summer sun, yet welcome winter's
low angle warming rays.
Passive solar elements use free solar energy to maintain high levels of interior
virgin wood use and add stylish warmth and casual character.
Very little old growth timber ia available for logging today, yet the amazing
beauty and performance of that ancient wood is still available when reclaimed
from old structures.
Whether re-milled or kept with all its character, old woods add flavor to interiors
that simply cannot be found in other ways!