“Green building” has become an industry buzz word and this exciting progression in building methods and technologies is something that we take very seriously at Regency Homes. While the term can be used very liberally to apply to many different things, what it means to us is three fold.
First, we begin by working with architects and designers to start off with an environmentally responsible design, disturbing the home site itself as little as possible along the way. For a hillside home this would mean using the lower level as a very energy efficient livable space, taking advantage of the insulating properties of having this part of the home partially in the mountain side itself. For popular ranch style single story homes, it means taking consideration of the path of the sun across the site, and providing built in shade accordingly, while still allowing for the responsible use of large windows to capture the amazing views we are so lucky to have in this part of the country.
Next we use construction techniques that are sustainable from a materials stand point, using reclaimed or recycled products as appropriate. We take special pains to make sure we build our homes to be energy efficient, sealing all penetrations that would air transfer with the outside world, and insulating the walls and roofs in a way that maximizes it’s benefit. We also take care to use paint, wood, and flooring materials that don’t release toxic fumes and gasses into the home, something increasingly important as we minimize uncontrolled outside air infiltration.
Then we consider the long term benefits of using products that will provide a lifetime of energy efficiencies. All of our appliances are Energy Star certified, drastically reducing the power demands from days of old. Our water heaters are energy efficient or even tank-less. Most importantly in our desert climate is the use of high SEER rating air conditioners, and the appropriate sizing of units and ductwork. Far beyond the benefits of digital set back thermostats, when budgets allow, a home automation system like Crestron allows us to raise and lower the temperature of the home based on typical usage throughout the day, as well as lowering the electricity used by light fixtures by dimming them imperceptibly.
At Regency Homes we are constantly perusing further education in the design, building, and technology aspects of what “green building” means to us, our environment, and your home.
www.greenbuilding.com - A great site to learn about the basics.