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Hiline Builders Certified Green Building Professionals

You can hardly pick up a building industry related publication these days without reading something about Green Building.

Builders began adopting what I will call "green methodologies" on a notable scale in the early 90's and the evolution is slowly becoming mainstream. Ask anyone if they had a choice to build their project with sustainable, energy efficient, environmentally friendly products and practices if they would choose to do so, and a great majority will say yes.

In it's infancy, green building was shrouded with misconceptions that caused many to run the other way. Among them were the perceived inflated costs which were thought to be associated with green. Although there was reason to be concerned about costs, the long term effects, or paybacks, were seldom taken into consideration. For example an energy efficient HVAC system can pay for itself in 7 or 8 years in energy savings. I recently did a job for a client who had solar, (photovoltaic), panels installed and her energy bill was reduced to almost nothing. This system will end up paying for itself in 5-6 years in energy savings. More sustainable, longer lasting products make for less maintenance and longer life spans. As more people are educating themselves and choosing green building, products are able to be manufactured in greater quantities and that, coupled with advancing technologies, and demand, is significantly lowering the cost of materials.

Some of the more common Green Building applications include using low or 0-VOC paints,(volatile organic compounds), and formaldehyde free plywood for subfloor sheathing for better indoor air quality, locating mechanical equipment and ductwork in conditioned spaces, using energy efficient windows which increase the homes r-value while still allowing the structure to breathe, radiant heat flooring, proper HVAC sizing and minimal duct leakage, engineered radiant barrier plywood roof sheathing like Polar ply, by Polar-Ply Corporation.

The USGBC, (U.S. Green Building Council), has established 4 levels of LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), certification for green built homes starting with certified, silver, then gold , and finally, the most stringent and eco-friendly of criteria, the platinum certification. Call us for more information on LEED certification or go the USGBC website at www.usgbc.org. There are several organizations that provide different green building certifications although LEED has become widely accepted as the industry standard for sustainable buildings.

Check back as we update our green building resources periodically as more information becomes available. Visit builditgreen.org and see us on the list of certified "Green Building Professionals."

Author
Phil Vanderloo
LEED Accredited Professional
Hiline Builders Inc.
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