Atlantic Homes is committed to becoming a leader in green building. By utilizing the latest technology and systems built manufacturing to minimize waste materials and shorten construction time (a shorter construction period reduces reducing vehicle emissions), incorporating environmentally friendly materials into our buildings to reduce the impact to our environment, installing energy efficient appliances and mechanical systems and choosing clean burning fuels like propane (propane is an extremely safe, clean, low emission fuel with the added benefits of being the by-product of the natural gas and crude oil refining process, and it is made in America), and by making smart decisions at the site with regard to tree removal, siting of the building etc., we can build you a home that is better for you, better for your family, better for the community and better for the planet, at the same time saving you time and money.
Build “Green” Everyone has heard it, but what does it mean?
A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste and is healthier for people living inside. Green Building also means a more resource efficient building process. There is reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins, reduced waste streams, conservation and restoration of natural resources along with enhancing and protecting ecosystems. In addition there are the economical benefits like lower operating cost, enhanced durability, less maintenance and optimized life cycle economic performance.
Building a home using modular construction is a very effective way to make the best use of materials, manufacturing efficiencies and protects the framing process from the elements. Keeping all materials dry and away from the elements helps to reduce the chance of mold and other toxins from later contaminating the indoor air quality. Local communities are looking for ways to minimize the impact of construction on local infrastructure at the building site. By building with modular construction you can reduce the traffic to a building site by delivering a house that is 80% complete in one day as opposed to having trucks delivering materials day after day. Modular construction minimizes the disturbance at the site and will reduce neighborhood traffic.
We start by being “Green" before we even start!
Prior to incorporating anything special or unique in our buildings, Epoch identifies numerous NAHB green specifications already met by our homes. Epoch’s modular system produced 87 points in the Resource Efficiency area, 43 points in the Energy Efficiency area, 60 points in the Indoor Environment Quality area, and 11 points in the Global Impact area. Without making any changes, a typical custom designed Epoch Home achieves over 200 points, qualifying at the Bronze level. With a few additional Green design choices, it is easy to reach even higher levels!
Green Home Building Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a Green Home? A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste and is healthier for people living inside. There are many shades of green building; which refers to the various levels of achievement in adopting resource efficiency in a home. Homes with one or two green measures are considered light green, while homes with several green measures are called dark green. There are several programs that attempt to quantify the level of greenness such as U.S. Green Building Council and NAHB. The LEED rating program has four levels of green: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The NAHB’s Green Building program has three tiers Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Q. Why build Green? Quite simply, its the right thing to do. Its better for you, for your children and your children's children. Its better for the people you love and for people you don't even know. It's better for the planet. In the United States, buildings account for the following percentage:
39% of energy use
12% of water consumption
68 % of total electricity consumption
38% of the carbon dioxide emissions
It is clear that if we can build Green and reduce those numbers we can have a very positive affect on the environment.
Q. What are the benefits of a Green Home? Green homes are safer, healthier, more comfortable, and more durable than conventional homes and will greatly improve the overall quality of life for the homeowners. There are many other benefits to building a green home, starting with the environmental benefits such as improved air and water quality, reduced exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins, reduce waste streams, conservation and restoration of natural resources along with enhancing and protecting ecosystems. In addition there are the economical benefits like lower operating cost, enhanced durability, less maintenance and optimized life cycle economic performance. The last large benefit comes from the social side of green building, increased occupant comfort and health; heightened aesthetic qualities and reducing the strain on local infrastructure.
Q. How Green Are Epoch Homes Today? The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization has created a rating system to define and measure “Green Buildings” based on existing and already proven technology. In addition the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has created the Green Home Building Guidelines for use by homebuilders. Epoch already incorporates many of these practices in their production process.
Q. What is LEED for Homes? LEED for Homes is a green home rating system for ensuring that homes are designed and built to be energy and resource efficient and healthy for occupants. LEED can be applied to single and multi-family homes and is intended for both market-rate and affordable housing. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) originally developed the LEED green building rating system in 2000 for new commercial construction. Following LEED’s success in the commercial sector, USGBC began the pilot test of LEED for homes in August 2005. There are currently over 5,800 homes across the U.S. involved in the LEED for Homes pilot program and more than 150 that have already been LEED certified as a green home. The LEED for Homes pilot test will conclude in spring 2007 and USGBC will publicly launch the LEED for homes rating system in June 2007.
Q. What is Energy Star? ENERGY STAR qualified homes are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). Any home three stories or less can earn the ENERGY STAR label if it has been verified to meet EPA's guidelines for energy efficiency.
All our homes carry the ENERGY STAR rating incorporating the following features:
1. Effective Insulation
Properly installed, climate-appropriate insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, less energy consumption, and increased comfort.
2. High-Performance Windows
Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
3. Tight Construction and Ducts
Sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.
4. Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment
In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. Typically, energy-efficient equipment is also more durable and requires less maintenance than standard models.
5. Lighting and Appliances
ENERGY STAR qualified homes may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products — lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dish washers, and washing machines. These ENERGY STAR qualified products provide additional energy savings to the owner.
6. Third-Party Verification
With the help of independent Home Energy Raters, ENERGY STAR builder partners choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes. Additionally, raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify that the homes qualify as ENERGY STAR.
What is NAHB’s Voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines ?
The Guidelines contain six primary sections:
Lot Preparation and Design - Even before the foundation is poured, careful planning can reduce the home’s impact on natural features such as vegetation and soil; and enhance the home's long-term performance. Such preparation can provide significant value to the homeowner, the environment, and the community. Included for the end user, especially developers, is a Site Planning Appendix that closely mirrors this section and provides additional guidance. Resource Efficiency – Advanced framing techniques and home designs can effectively optimize the use of building materials. This section also details how careful material selection can reduce the amount of time and money needed for home maintenance; and demonstrates equally important construction waste management concepts. Energy Efficiency – This is the most quantifiable aspect of green building. The information in this section will help a builder create a better building envelope and incorporate more energy efficient mechanical systems, appliances, and lighting into a home, yielding long-term utility bill savings and increased comfort for the homeowner. Water Efficiency/Conservation – Although, the relative importance of water availability and usage varies from region to region, the concern with adequate supply is becoming more widespread geographically. Experience also shows that employing the line items from this section of the Guidelines for indoor and outdoor water use can reduce utility bills, regardless of location. Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality – Effective management of moisture, ventilation, and other issues can create a more comfortable and healthier indoor living environment. Operation, Maintenance and Education - Given the level of effort that a home builder goes through to create a well thought out home system, it would be a shame not to give the home owner guidance on how to optimally operate and maintain the house. Line items from this section show a builder how best to educate homeowners on the features of their new green home.
How expensive is it to "Go Green"?
This is the big question. The answer is it depends. Some "green" products and materials have similar or slightly more expensive upfront costs but work out to be more cost effective over time. Some are the same cost, and some are just flat out more expensive. The good news is that you have complete control over the choices you make.
Ultimately, we build your home for you, the way you want, with the specifications and choices you make, without any pressure or preference from us. There is no hard sell. We provide the information, you make the choices. We will work with you to incorporate as many or as few of these elements as you wish.
We are only committed to making them available, not making you buy them.
I like the idea of "Green" but I don't want to spend extra
Perfect. We still want to build you a home. As mentioned above, all of our homes begin as being partially green right out of the factory, so without making any changes, upgrades or additions, your new EPOCH home will already be partially Green, we like to call it "Light Green". And that is just fine with us. Either way, you have come to the right place.
Let us build a home for you.
Eco-Health Homes In addition to our commitment providing affordable, sustainable, environmentally friendly housing, Atlantic Homes is pleased to be working in conjunction with Michelle Roberts of Chatham Hill Design, to bring you Ecohealth Homes.Read more about Eco-Health Homes.