Green Building Philosophy

Pine Brook Construction, Inc. is committed to green building through sustainable building practices utilizing modern renewable energy technologies. Many have the misconception that green building adds significant cost to the building process. But through a variety of energy programs, government programs, and rebates, the cost of building a green home can be reduced greatly. Here is a variety of techniques, technologies, and resources to help you understand our building practices, and the many advantages of a new home built using green building.


Green Construction Techniques and Technology

Foundation

There are two green construction techniques that we can utilize with regard to the foundation of your home: Poured, insulated concrete walls, and sealed, conditioned crawlspaces.

Smart Design

Architects that understand green building can dramatically save resources with better designs which can be implemented with little wasted time or effort. A highly efficient green home today starts with great architectural design.

Factors that need to be considered: site orientation, roof overhangs to take advantage of passive solar, window selection with U-value and Solar Coefficient, window placement, overall passive solar design, and preserving site ecology to name just a few. Incorporating these along with other design techniques enhances the durability and sustainability of your home!

Framing

We employ the use of alternative framing techniques to minimize overall wood usage while maximizing insulation area. This aids in creating and sealing the thermal envelope. We also utilize structuredinsulated panels (SIP’s) in our green homes, greatly improving the efficiency of the home while creating the tightest possible building envelope.

Insulation

Sealing the thermal envelope with good insulation is very important to building an efficient home today. We prefer two types of envelope insulation: open cell spray foam (Icynene), and structured insulated panels (SIP’s). Icynene is sprayed into all open wall cavities, roof decks, and band joists. This is extremely effective at sealing the many nooks and gaps that naturally occur during the framing process.

Alternatively, we can use SIP’s panels, which are comprised of two (2) pieces of plywood, OSB, or ZIP wallboard with four (4) or six (6) inches of rigid foam in-between. This is also a great way to create a very tight building envelope.

Heating and Cooling (HVAC)

The foundation to an efficient, green HVAC system is the proper sizing of the system during the design stage. Then, there are different green technologies employed to heat and cool your home. They include the following: ground source heat pumps (geo-thermal), super high-efficiency variable speed heat pumps, radiant floor heat, and passive solar. Thermal solar arrays can also be utilized in the production of domestic hot water, and can concurrently augment any of the aforementioned home heating systems.

There are significant tax credits available for the installation of some of these systems. In an efficient, tight thermal envelope house, we introduce mechanical ventilation (fresh air) into the house via an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).

Plumbing

Through the implementation of several new technologies, we can drastically reduce water consumption in your green home. We capture rainwater to flush toilets, supply washing machines, dishwashers, and outside spigots on the house. We install on-demand water-heating systems with boost pumps. We can bypass fossil fuels virtually entirely by heating domestic water through a thermal solar array on your roof. Finally, we install extremely low-flow faucets, showerheads, and ultra low-flush toilets.

Rainwater and Collection Management

Through the installation of above, or below ground cisterns, we harvest rainwater for the following uses: super high-efficiency irrigation systems, flushing of toilets, supply of washing machines, dishwashers, and outside spigots.

Electrical

We are able to produce electricity in our green homes through the utilization of two green technologies: photovoltaic cells (PV Cells), and wind power. PV Cells are installed in an array on your roof and are either linked directly to the electrical grid, or your house. Wind turbines are also mounted discreetly on your roof. We further install low energy LED and compact fluorescent lighting where applicable in lieu of incandescent bulbs.



Green Building Resources

The following are organizations of which we are members or companies that we have partnered with in a collective effort to build a more sustainable, durable, and energy-efficient home. They have additional resources available for you to view:


Western North Carolina Green Building Council

National Association of Home Builders

North Carolina Home Building Association

Asheville Home Building Association

NC Healthy Built Home Program

Energy Star

Home Energy Partners

If you would like more information on green design and building, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.