This is the only time of year that I like using the term “Green”. It’s usually with my clothing and beer. Rarely, it's about our homes. It is a term that just rubs me the wrong way since we’ve always designed and built the most energy-efficient, environment-friendly, water-saving and healthy homes in the area.
So in honor of St. Paddy’s Day, I’ll curb my disdain for the term. Here is a sampling of the “Green” features in our Tampa custom homes:
- Material Recycling – Concrete products are separated from other construction debris so they can be recycled.
- Mold Prevention – Mold is a problem for young and old homes. It is on many products delivered to construction sites and it grows easily. We kill it and apply an antimicrobial to prevent future growth.
- Extreme Insulation – Our homes go above and beyond. We inject foam into the hollow cells of the block walls and apply a radiant barrier to all exterior walls and the wall sheathing. Bottom line, much lower electric bills.
- Hurricane Impact Windows – We use double pane windows with an energy efficient LOW-E film. These windows are hurricane impact so you don’t need to install panels during a storm.
- Low VOC Products – Many new building materials, like paint, cabinets and flooring, contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that can be unhealthy, so we minimize or eliminate them.
- CFL Bulbs – You may not like the color of light it gives off, but it’s tough to argue with the longer life and lower energy use.
- PEX Plumbing – The material used is much more environmentally friendly than PVC products, plus it provides hot water quicker, which will save you money.
- Gas – Whether it’s natural or propane, we provide gas to five locations in our homes. The most energy efficient locations are the water heater and dryer.
- Tankless Water Heater – When you aren’t heating 50 gallons of water constantly, you can expect some savings on your utility bills.
- HVAC System – The SEER rating on our systems is 14, compared to other builders at 13. We also have variable speed air handlers, dual stage condensers with humidistats. Bottom line, more energy efficiency and a healthier environment.
- Plumbing Fixtures – Toilets, faucets and shower heads – Oh My! Not the most exciting items, but the low flow fixtures have greatly improved, so there is not a loss in pressure. Similarly, the low gallon flush toilets have become very effective.
- Appliances – This is another area where selecting EnergyStar rated appliances can be very effective on water and energy.
As you can see, it isn’t the “Luck of the Irish” that allows us to say we have “Green” homes, but we do have incredibly efficient, smartly built homes. And on this St. Paddy's Day, we might just throw in a green beer and party hat to emphasize the point.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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