Tag Archives: living


How to Furnish Your Home

It’s very practical to select furniture and furnishings that you could use in any room in your home. Read these tips on choosing furniture and accessory pieces that can work well in small or large rooms, offer storage, and can … Continue reading

Sourcing Materials – Sustainable Selection Criteria

There are several deciding factors that each builder uses when sourcing materials and products for use in the homes they build.  Traditionally, these have been elements such as price, suitability, quality, and availability.  The order of importance in ranking these elements is somewhat decided by us individually, influenced by external forces such as budget and client expectations.

With our sustainable construction goals, we can add additional criteria to the list above, and simply rank products as they best fit.  This is the beginning of life-cycle analysis, which we discuss in more detail in a later article – for now, however, we are just interested in outlining the basic criteria we can quickly use

Glass and Steel Construction

to determine suitable products to use.  There are three main elements of consideration noted in national certification programs such as LEEDÒ for HomesÔ or the NAHB Green Building ProgramÔ. Products that feature one or more of these elements are considered ‘Environmentally Preferred Products’.

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Energy Star

Features of ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.

This label identifies a home as having earned the ENERGY STAR

And with homebuyers increasingly interested in green building, energy efficiency is the place to start. That’s because the energy used in homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and risks of global warming. So, the less energy used, the less air pollution generated. And the easy way to make sure a new home is energy efficient is to look for the blue ENERGY STAR mark, the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. Learn more about how Green Begins with ENERGY STAR Blue PDF (130KB). Continue reading

Plan 21113 Photographed for Better Homes and Gardens

Plan 21113, the Alumont was recently photographed and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Keep your eyes peeled for it on newsstands!