living green

“Successful Design is only realized through the constraints of the site and the relationship of a home to its environment.”

The term "Green" started out a few years ago as fad and has turned into a way of life for many. How "Green" you decide to live is entirely up to you but when it comes to designing homes, Jeannette Architects has been incorporating green design practices into projects since opening its doors.

Conservation in the family is the most important piece to the puzzle. Turning off lights during the day, turning off water while you're scrubbing the dishes or brushing your teeth, and wearing a sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat makes the biggest difference to your utility bills and our environment.

Passive Solar Concepts | The Sun and Wind:
The idea of using the environment to heat, cool and light a home dates back to the beginning of time. Properly designing a home within its environment, considering sun exposure in the morning or evening hours is crucial to reducing utility bills and reducing your own “carbon footprint”. Prevailing winds can cool your home with pass-through breezes or convection vertically through 2 story spaces.

Proper placement of windows, also known as “day-lighting,” can provide enough light in your home during the day to keep that light switch in the off position while the sun is up.

The Sun is a free natural resource. When the Sun and Wind are incorporated into the design of a home properly, less energy is used for lighting, heating and cooling.

Active Solar Concepts | Electricity and Hot Water:
With Photovoltaic Solar Panels on a home, the production of electricity on-site is possible. These systems generate power to be used by the home or sent back to “the grid” to reduce your overall electric usage. Costs vary depending on the size of the Solar Array but rest assured, the return is worth it. Some of our homes receive credits from the utility company for all the power provided back to the grid.

Thermal Hot Water solar panel systems can also reduce the consumption of energy (gas and electricity). These Solar Panels rest on your roof filled with water. The Water is heated by the sun and stored in insulated tanks for use later in the day within the home or to heat pools.

Other Concepts:
Electricity:
Select Fluorescent, LED or Fiber Optic lights to reduce your watt usage. Often times, you can reduce your energy bills in half by changing out incandescent bulbs to high efficiency bulbs. Be sure to look for Color Rendering Indexes between 2700 and 3000 degree Kelvin to match the light similar to your incandescent bulb.

Water:
Select single lever mixer faucets versus separate hot and cold controls so the water can be turned off while brushing your teeth, washing your hands and doing the dishes. The single lever allows the temperature to remain set and simplifies on/off control.
Consider Ultra Low Flow & Dual Flush toilets. Set your landscape timers to water when it’s dark reducing evaporation. Turn water on 1/2 way instead of "full blast" if that will get your job done. Use cold water when you can to reduce your draw on heated water.

Appliances:
Select Energy Star appliances that have been tested to reduce the amount of energy used.

Heating and Cooling:
Open your windows. Use natural breezes to cool your home. Not only will it blow out the heat, it’ll allow your home to “breathe” thereby reducing in-house toxins found in many products within your home (particle board cabinets & furniture, carpet & glue, etc).
Adjust your thermostat to reduce energy and turn on a fan to circulate the air; fans can reduce the ambient temperature between 8 and 12 degrees and generally don’t use that much electricity. Also select high SEER rated units that are more energy efficient.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
Whenever possible, first choose Reuse then Recycling. Reusing bags, containers and other products keeps more from being made, thereby reducing the impact these products have on our environment for manufacturing. Recycle everything you can. It’s typically a service you’re already paying your City to provide and by Recycling, we can reduce the amount of waste entering our landfill.

When tearing down a home, consider donating it to The Reuse People who will coordinate the deconstruction of your home’s elements; wood floors, windows, doors, cabinets, appliances, floor, roof and wall wood studs, plumbing fixtures and much more. This will reduce the amount of waste put into our landfills as well as provide a tax deduction to you. Check it out for yourself… we did!

Watch this video with Heull Houser to help understand Deconstruction