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A Kelowna Luxury Home Builder on the Secrets to Green Building Part II

It’s no secret that as Kelowna luxury home builders with almost four decades of experience we take responsible stewardship of the planet seriously. That’s why we employ green building techniques and sustainable building technology whenever possible. So, if you’re embarking on a home build, here are some of our tried-and-true secrets to help you keep it green.

EMPLOY HIGH-QUALITY VENTILATION

As Kelowna building contractors we’ve employed a number of sustainable building practices on a wide variety of projects. Among the most effective (and therefore at the top of our Secrets to Green Building list) is using a design system that introduces high-quality ventilation.

Tips:

  • A high-quality ventilation system will improve indoor air quality and help to remove or reduce health hazards associated with indoor air pollution (and further burdens to the environment).
  • A high-quality ventilation system is more cost-effective than increased ventilation, which can increase your overall energy costs.
  • Combine a high-quality ventilation system with a sensible home design that maximizes natural ventilation through windows and doors, lowering your overall energy usage, cost, and carbon footprint.
  • A high-quality ventilation system will keep indoor air fresher, thus preventing the need for harsh air fresheners that can hurt the environment (and your pocket) by causing further indoor air pollution.
  • A high-quality ventilation system will help to reduce the negative effects of activities such as painting or cooking that can cause high levels of indoor pollutants.

AVOID VOC’S & TOXIC MATERIALS

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may have short and/or long-term health effects. In addition, concentrations of these toxins are up to 10 times higher indoors. As a Kelowna construction company that has successfully completed a number of projects in the Okanagan, we avoid materials with the potential to emit toxic pollutants into the atmosphere at all costs (and so should you!).

Tips:

  • If you must use materials with known VOCs, make sure to do it in an area that is properly ventilated and that you wear protective clothing and a mask.
  • If you must use materials with known VOCs, make sure to seal and dispose of their contents responsibly. Never mix containers with known contaminants together with the regular trash.
  • Before you use materials with known VOCs, put together a risk information sheet to help you assess the total toxic load it will put on your home, your indoor air quality and the environment before you make a decision.
  • Never store open containers of paint or any other materials with known VOCs in your home.
  • Before you embark upon building your home, research to see if there are any government incentives or rebates available to you for employing green building practices.

BUY LOCAL

Whether it’s produce or building materials – the reasons to buy local are (almost) the same. A Kelowna-based construction company, we have experience working as luxury home builders, general contractors, and custom home builders. Whatever the project, our commitment to supporting local businesses and reducing our carbon footprint by purchasing local building materials has remained a steadfast green building practice.

Tips:

  • Before embarking on your custom home build project, make a thorough list of all the materials you will need with your contractor. Knowing exactly what you need and when will help you to avoid ordering materials at the last-minute and give you the space and time you need to make informed decisions about where you will order from.
  • It makes sense that local building materials native to the climate you live in will perform best. As a result, buying local building materials will help you to avoid replacing them down the road due to degradation.
  • Buying local materials cuts down on transportation costs, and, as a result, your carbon footprint. The less distance materials have to travel, the better for the environment.
  • Buying local may also mean using reclaimed wood for your home build project. Speak with your contractor to see what your options are beforehand.

INCORPORATE NATURAL LIGHT

Site-planning strategies are an integral part of the green building process. We have built many new homes in Kelowna and enjoyed the benefits of incorporating natural light. To analyze the cost and environmental benefits of natural lighting, speak with your contractor during the planning phase.

Tips:

  • Incorporating natural light into your home design will save resources and reduce your dependency on electric lighting; making it cost-effective over the short and long-term by improving the overall efficiency of your home.
  • Natural light can reduce costs associated with air-conditioning as indoor lighting can generate increased heat indoors.
  • Associated with modern home design, natural lighting is a highly desirable design characteristic and may increase the resale value of your home.

Have a Question?

Team Construction Management has been building world-class luxury homes, commercial buildings and restoration projects for over 36 years. If you have a question about something in this blog, or need some advice on an upcoming project, feel free to contact us today.