2.0 energy efficiency
energy efficiency involves many components of the home and requires them to work in harmony in order to achieve a high level of efficiency. it is a primary consideration when we are designing the exterior building envelope. we want to make sure the exterior building envelope is tight to minimize heat gain in the summer months and heat loss in the winter months. we also want to make sure the interior is taking advantage of natural light and passive heating and cooling to reduce the amount of time electricity that is being consumed by the home, especially during daylight hours. this is one of the main modules referenced when we speak about a “high performance home.”
- lighting controls
we design for installation of dimmers, zone lighting controls, occupancy sensors, and compact flourescent lighting as a means of conserving energy.
- energy star appliances
we design for and help homeowners select their energy star appliances.
our insulation systems are design to fully seal the exterior envelope. the code requires only minimum standards for insulation and we make sure we go above and beyond in our insulation requirements for our homeowners. we also specify insulation that is environmentally friendly and also contributes to the indoor air quality of the home.
- tight and sealed ductwork
we specify duct leakage testing to ensure that all ductwork is properly sealed. in older homes, ducts generally leak about 30%. a new and properly installed duct system will be tested to verify that leakage is no more than 6%.
- doors & windows
we utilize dual glazed, low e with argon gas doors and windows. we properly design our systems to make sure air leakage around doors and windows is nonexistent. we also make sure weatherstripping is installed at all exterior doors.
- cool roof
we design a cool roof system that reflects a majority of the suns rays back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing them and adding to the heating load of a home.
- photovoltaic system (solar panels for electricity)
we can design for a photovoltaic (pv) system when requested by the owner. photovoltaics are a great way to use the sun’s energy to generate electricity for your home, but you want to make sure you have an energy efficient home to start with. a properly designed photovoltaic system can provide 65%-75% of a home’s electrical needs.
- solar hot water heater
we can design for a solar hot water system. a properly designed system can provide 75%-85% of a home’s hot water needs.
- home energy monitoring software
we are currently exploring options for home energy monitoring software.