Energy Efficiency & Green Building
Over the last five decades, Airhart Construction have been leaders in the industry and made it a priority to utilize the latest in technology and materials in order to achieve energy efficient “green” homes. As a company we continue to evolve, but our focus remains the same as it did when we began fifty years ago, to provide our customers with energy efficient, high quality, healthy and environmentally responsible homes. Our track record speaks for itself:
- In the 1970’s, we built passive solar homes and used exterior foundation insulation.
- In the 1980’s, we increased insulation values by building homes with 2x6 exterior walls. We used Low-E windows for greater energy efficiency and reduction in heat gain through the windows and began using higher efficiency furnaces and programmable thermostats. To improve air quality we vented all exhaust outside the home.
- In the 1990’s, we switched from fiberglass to Nu-Wool cellulous insulation, a recycled material, which greatly reduced the convection currents in the wall and increased the effective value of the insulation. In our neighborhoods, we began to use natural plantings in our detention basins and greatly increased our work with site storm water runoff, which leads to improved water quality in our streams and rivers.
- In the 2000’s, we evaluated air infiltration and its effect on energy consumption and the health of the home. As a result, we introduced our Energy Seal 1 and Energy Seal 2 programs that greatly reduced energy loss through building a tightly controlled building envelope. We also introduced fresh air through a controlled process to ensure high indoor air quality. We started including energy star rated appliances whenever possible and implemented a program of recycling over 75% of our construction job site waste. The biggest step came through following the National Association of Home Builders Model Green Home Building Guidelines
- In 2010, we partnered with a leader in the field of energy efficiency. Every home we build is blower door tested and third party rated to ensure our homes are built to the highest standards. Every home we build includes a Heating Performance Certificate showing the HERS score and how far our homes out-perform Energy Star and the current energy code. We sourced more products locally, evaluated water usage and used water saving devices. We expanded the usage of high efficiency lighting to over 75% throughout the home and saved additional energy.
The core of our energy efficient and green building efforts is serving our homeowners and being good stewards of our environment. We accomplish this through:
- Reducing energy cost through building energy efficient homes resulting in less pollution;
- Conserving natural resources by use of recycled and renewable resources;
- Enhancing durability and lower on-going maintenance costs by building with low maintenance exterior finishes, which are sure to stand up to the elements;
- Improving the indoor air quality by ensuring the HVAC system is sized correctly and systematically bringing in fresh air to create a healthy indoor air environment, as well as providing proper venting for expelling pollutants generated in the home;
- Implementing water saving devices inside the home and water quality practices outside the home and in our neighborhoods in order to protect water for future generations; and
- Efficiently using resources and recycled materials that give you the confidence of knowing that your home has a reduced impact on the environment.
Where are we today? Every decade we have been in business has been a building block as we refine the efficiency of our homes and their effect on the environment. Today, we build some of the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly homes on the market. Currently included in every home is:
- Nu-Wool Cellulose Insulation – Made from 100% recycled paper; cellulous has a much higher effective R-factor than fiberglass insulation by reducing convection currents as well as reducing air infiltration;
- Foam Insulation – Spray foam insulation is used to seal all our joists ends to ensure any penetrations are filled and the insulation stays in place once it is covered up;
- Basement insulation – We insulate the interior of the basement walls from basement floor to the top of the walls, which greatly reduces heat loss;
- Energy Seal 1 – Spray foam and caulk is used during a pre-insulation walk through to fill any exterior penetrations of the envelope to ensure the tightest envelope possible;
- Energy Seal 2 – Spray foam and caulk is used during a post drywall walk through to ensure all outlets, switches and recessed lighting are sealed to the drywall. In addition, a special tool is used to ensure that the drywall is sealed to the bottom plate ensuring no air leakage along the floor;
- House Wrap – All of our homes include Tyvek exterior house wrap. This adds an extra measure against possible air infiltration as well as moisture intrusion;
- High efficiency furnace systems – every home we build includes a 95.5% efficient furnace that helps lower heating bills;
- High efficiency A/C- every home we build includes a 14.5 SEER air conditioner that helps lower cooling bills
- Programmable thermostat – This enables you over a 7 day period to raise and lower the temperature of your home as lifestyle demands, which allows for a more efficient running of the system. In addition, the thermostat controls indoor air quality systematically bringing fresh air into your home;
- Energy Star rated appliances are included in every home;
- Low-E Pella Windows – This provides a greater insulation rating and improved barrier against UV and infrared light;
- Recycling– Over 75% of our job site waste is recycled;
- Indoor Air Quality – Venting all kitchen and bath exhaust to the exterior and introducing fresh air into the HVAC system;
- Moisture control – We follow a program of tight controls on moisture intrusion ensuring a healthy environment; and
- Durability – Using durable prefinished exterior materials with longer life cycles that requires less maintenance and replacement.
Where will we be tomorrow? Our mission has been to continually lead in the development and implementation of energy saving and sustainable construction techniques. The answer to where we will be tomorrow is: we will be constantly striving to improve on the products, processes and practices we use to serve our clients.