Shades of Green – Building Green Homes
Generation Homes is known as a company that continues to make product improvement a priority as exemplified by our research and development initiatives, our current commitment to the NAHB National Quality Build Program (NAHB), Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) , Green Built Homes of Florida and our personal desire to pursue responsible home building.
We implement the EnergyStar “Builder Option Program” (BOP) in every home we build.
The following is a delineation of our goals, objectives, and specific requirements in our residential green building program using “NAHB for Homes”.
The basic tenant of the NAHB program contains performance, material, and practice requirements. Based on the size of our company and the aligned emphasis of green building practices of the NAHB program we will use a phased implementation strategy concentrating first on two of the major green-building areas: Energy and Water Conservation.
Following successful implementation of the practices necessary to satisfy these requirements, additional steps toward full compliance of the NAHB green program can be undertaken, while using the lessons-learned of the first phase of the “green” we can begin to implement the initial energy and water conservation steps.
Reducing the total energy consumption used in the operation of a home is a basic premise of green building. Additionally as green building certifications rely on “point” systems, it is important to note that the energy category points are relatively easy to obtain provided EnergyStar performance levels are met. Although not a “prerequisite” for the NAHB program, not achieving EnergyStar results in a “point penalty” requiring additional points to be garnered in other categories. Bottom line: EnergyStar compliance is a must. There are other performance-based methods to achieve EnergyStar, but the BOP seems to be a cost effect method as a start.
Please note that Low-E windows will be required. Also, air-handlers must be located in conditioned space and should be part of the initial design criteria. Other specifications include minor tweaks to standard offerings and are easily incorporated, such as energy efficient lighting, appliances, etc.
Building envelope and duct testing will also be required.
We undertake efforts to reduce exterior landscaping water usage. These strategies are well proven and very cost-effective. The Program for Resource Efficient Communities (PREC) at the University of Florida, St. Johns Water Management (SWM), Florida Water Star program for Yards and Neighborhoods have developed much of the information we need to implement attractive, marketable low-water-use landscaping for our neighborhoods and our homes.
Awareness and Education:
Part of the Shades of Green building involves marketing and education pertaining to the benefits of building green as well as green operations and maintenance. Home owner education programs and dedicated sections of our company web site will be developed by marketing concurrently with the energy and water conservation efforts.
Once the requirements of the Phase I items are understood and an implementation plan is in place, additional efforts to address the remaining aspects of the vertical construction can be initiated. This includes indoor-environmental-quality, resource efficient material choices, durability, and indoor water efficiency. SWM and PREC representatives will be able to help us understand the specific strategies best suited for our construction type.
The Phase II considerations & I address primarily what happens on the individual building lots. Phase III would look at the bigger picture of land development and Neighborhood planning. These efforts target the creation of entire green neighborhood in addition to individual homes focused towards Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency and Innovative Design. It would be our goal to work with our local developers and municipalities to create up front logistics’ and planning to help create the complete Green Neighborhood.
As you can see this is the beginning of a major undertaking for Generation Homes. We want to catch the wave of green building and eco-awareness that is sweeping the country to garner our share of the to-be-built market. The greening of America will happen with –or without us.