Tag Archives: energy efficient products

Being Green and Saving Green: Eco-Friendly Building Material Options

low-e windowWhen you’re building your Atlanta new home, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to consider and decide on during the process. One of the newest things that homeowners are adding to that list is how to build a more eco-friendly, green home. You know that you want your home to be economic, you want your building materials to last and you want your home to be energy efficient throughout its lifetime. While trying to incorporate as many as many of these energy and earth-friendly materials as possible, here are a few things you may want to consider:

  • Radiant floor heat – One thing to consider is how you are going to provide heat to your home, especially during the coldest winter months. Radiant heat rises out from the floor, and can be fueled by electricity, heated air or hot water. In single family homes, hot water systems are used most often because they are the most cost effective. Tubing is laid under the floor, and hot water funs through from the boiler.
  • Recycled wood or plastic composite lumber – Re-using materials that might end up in a landfill otherwise is a perfect way to make your home a little more green. These materials are becoming common in playground equipment, and the National Association of Home Builders reports that using plastic waster with wood fibers creates lumber that is less toxic and more durable than regular treated lumber. Materials with plastic help to reduce mold and rot, making it the perfect choice for decks and patios.
  • Low-e windows – Giving your house the ability to hold its temperature through low emissivity (low-e) windows is an easy way to make your home more energy-efficient. These windows require more of an upfront investment, but they quickly put that money back in your pocket through reduced energy bills.
  • Insulated concrete forms – Another alternative to wood is insulated concrete forms, which can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent in colder climates.
  • Recycled steel – Using steel beams in construction can add stability and take away the risk of mold or rot you could get from wood. Steel beams are commonly made from scrap metal from cars, instead of a natural resource like wood. By using scrap metal, 75 percent less energy is used over making new steel.
  • Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam – Insulation plays a large part in whether or not your home is energy efficient. One of the best insulation options is made by a company that previously manufactured surfboards. After a slap on the wrist by the Environmental Protection Agency, the company stopped using hazardous materials in their boards and began using plant-based polyurethane rigid foam, which they realized was excellent insulation.

It is often the case that green products are initially more expensive, but by investing in the products now, you save in future energy costs over the lifetime of your home. You can also take even more pride in your energy-efficient Atlanta new home and know that you are benefiting the overall good of the environment.

The Orchards Group Goes Green To Save Some Green

eco comfort homeThe Orchards Group is going a little greener to help residents save on their energy bills. Though the builder already offers energy-efficient homes for active adults, the group has been receiving numerous requests from residents to help them save more money on energy bills.

“We worked with our suppliers to identify affordable energy-efficient products that will provide a good return on investment over the life of the home,” said Mitch Block, marketing director for The Orchards Group.

Thus the Eco-Comfort home was born! Ground has been broken on this home at its popular Forsyth County community The Orchards of Brannon Oak Farm.

Usually a $10,900 upgrade on the Winston, the smart buyer who purchases this demonstration home at Brannon Oak Farm will pay only $7,900.  Specific upgraded features are available individually or as a package.

The Eco-Comfort Home package includes:

  • A tankless hot water system with a re-circulating pump providing instant hot water.
  • the orchards group, winston model, eco-comfort homeA high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system.
  • A radiant barrier between the roof shingles and the attic which keeps the attic (and house) 20% cooler.
  • Increased insulation for greater hot and cold protection.
  • Water saving Dual flush commodes.

The home features the Winston plan. This floor plan features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a room that can be a parlor or a third bedroom.  The model has a living and dining room open to the kitchen, a sunroom, a screened porch, a large master bedroom with walk-in closet and true walk-up attic storage. Eco-Comfort features, availability and pricing may vary in other floor plans.

For more information on the Eco-Comfort home, visit The Orchards Group‘s website.

Green HVAC and Water Heating Systems

One of the largest energy consumers in a home is the HVAC system. Thus, when constructing the Green House, it was imperative to find the appropriate company to install a system that would be energy efficient and not leave a large carbon footprint. So, if you are in the market for a green HVAC system, this is the one that was installed on the Brock Built Green House, with a full description of what makes this particular system energy efficient and green:

Installed by Lennox & Spence Heating and Air Conditioning

Air Conditioner: ENERGY STAR qualified that deliver superior performance in
all areas important to today’s consumers – comfort, control, energy efficiency,
quiet operation, environmental responsibility, and reliability. The energy-efficient cooling systems also use R410A refrigerant, which is environmentally friendly and chlorine-free.

Gas Furnace: The furnace is crafted with uncompromising design to deliver efficiency ratings of up to 92.1%, which can save the homeowners hundreds of dollars on energy bills each year compared to older furnaces. Continue reading

Homeowners Turn to Energy Efficient Remodeling Tactics

The National Association of Home Builders recently conducted a survey with results suggesting a rise in the popularity of green and energy efficient remodeling. Many of you are feeling the effects of the rising gas and energy costs, so to help balance out these expenses, many homeowners are turning to remodelers for money-saving suggestions. The results of the survey show 33% of remodelers report that they are increasingly called on to improve the energy efficiency of their client’s homes. The following is a list of the most popular energy-efficient products for remodelers:

  • Windows–73% of surveyed remodelers installed more energy-efficient windows that are insulated to prevent outdoor heat exchange.
  • Insulation–65% made upgrades such as insulation replacement and spraying foam or fiber insulation into enclosed walls and roof cavities, while 27% insulated foundations and 52% installed insulated exterior doors.
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems (56%)
  • High-efficiency kitchen appliances (47%)
  • Water-saving faucets and fixtures (46%)