Introduction to Green Building
The term "Green Building" can be used to describe a wide variety of design and construction practices aimed at reducing our impact on the natural environment. Put simply, green buildings are designed to be better for both the planet and those that live and work in them. (See Green 101 for more info)
While green building may conjure images of exotic looking tree-houses or hyper-modern architecture, it's important to realize that most green buildings look and feel much the same as traditional construction. There are many different opinions on what it means to be "green," ranging from the commonplace to the absurd. Installing energy-efficient appliances might be enough for some people to claim the title, while others may insist that being truly "green" requires a drastic, all-encompassing approach to building and remodeling.
What Green Building Means to Fontenot Contracting
The green building approach of Fontenot Contracting involves looking critically at every step of the construction or remodeling process to maximize efficiency, minimize environmental impact, and evaluate costs over the life of your property. This means:
The first task of any project is to establish goals as they relate to the your priorities. Setting benchmarks for sustainability, budget, and return on investment at the outset of the process is of the utmost importance. Only then can we begin to create a design and build plan that best meets your needs.
Integrating all aspects of the building process is essential to getting the most from green products and processes. The benefit of installing an energy-efficient heating system will not be fully realized if concerns about heat loss through walls, windows, and doors arenít properly addressed.
It turns out that green products are often also the best products. By focusing on quality we can often achieve substantial efficiency gains while reducing maintenance costs, extending the life of your home, and increasing the value of your investment. Look under the Green Services tab to learn more about Fontenot Contractingís green initiatives.
There are a lot of products out there that claim to be green. The truth is, buying a more expensive product because itís made of recycled materials or the latest technology isnít always the truly green option. While some products may not be suited for New England winters, others may need to travel long distances to be installed, essentially mitigating their environmental benefits. Choosing products that best suit their applications is crucial to reducing environmental impact and eliminating unwarranted cost.
From an investment perspective, saving money on energy costs is the biggest factor in realizing the cost benefits of going green. At Fontenot Contracting, we look at every step of the process through this lens. Whether or not you consider yourself an environmentalist, reducing your monthly energy costs is the most tangible benefit of renovating or building green. To help you develop an understanding of your homeís energy consumption, use the Energy Calculator link under the Resources tab.