40% Amount of the Planet?s Total Raw Materials Consumed Attributable to Building Industry
Source: Worldwatch Institute
$40-$50 Billion Estimated Size Of Annual Green Building Market by the Year 2010
Source: McGraw Hill
1.6% Median Increase in Cost to Build Green, Leed Certified Buildings (Avg Payback Period Is Less Than 5 Years)
Source: Good Energies, International Survey
NEW CONSTRUCTION IN MORNINGSIDE
Although renovation and new construction each bring its own set of challenges, the same necessary skill sets and experience are needed to ensure either project results in a home of exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Red Level takes this further by ensuring a design sensitive to the fabric of the existing neighborhood. Their new home in Atlanta's Morningside area showcases their expertise and commitment.
Red Level worked with Harrison Design Associates to design a plan that would seamlessly merge a new home into this tree lined neighborhood of classic bungalow and craftsman style homes. The design incorporated a flat roof on the largest section of the house and multiple ridge lines on the remainder in order to keep the overall height low, and not overwhelm the original homes in the neighborhood.
Inside, the finishes make the house. The open floor plan is visually separated by classic columns, and detailed trim and moulding in some of the common rooms. The two-story family room features a cast stone mantel and rear wall that is mostly glass, so that the manicured backyard can be enjoyed at all times.
To see more photos of this renovation project, please visit the photo gallery at www.red-level.com.
Defining the Green Building movement that has gained extraordinary momentum over the last several years is no easy task. Building Green means many different things to many different groups and individuals. For a building to "officially" be deemed Green, there are different certifications that can be obtained in commercial, institutional and residential development and construction projects - Earthcraft, LEED, Energy Star and GreenPoint to name a few. But even within a particular program, there is variability. Different buildings can be given the same certification, but based on different criteria (most of the certifying organizations use a point system that rewards specific Green practices, but the certification level can be reached by obtaining the required point total through an endless combination of options). The certifications are valuable in that they create frameworks to work within, and they push builders reach for a level that's higher than they might normally reach. But good builders use a large number of green building techniques by default, because, to a large extent, building Green means building well.
Generally speaking, the goals of a Green construction project are to create a building that is: energy efficient, healthy, sustainable, resource efficient and focused on water conservation with minimal environmental impact.
There are hundreds of techniques that can be used to reach those goals, but the most basic practices are: effective site selection and building orientation, sorted/recycled deconstruction (in renovations), use of products with high recycled content and little or no harmful gas emission, installation of efficient mechanical/water systems, efficient construction techniques, and creating a tight building envelop by using high quality windows and doors and insulating/sealing appropriate gaps and penetrations.
Many homeowners think of Green Building and picture solar panels and wind turbines, and are fearful of the costs that might be incurred. While some Green choices do carry up-front expenditures, a large number of these practices can be implemented at low or no incremental cost. It's often simply a question of responsible building and product selection. In addition, there are tax credits and other financial incentives available in many areas to encourage green choices in construction - not to mention the long-term utility paybacks that will be realized by creating a highly efficient home.
In short, Green Building is carried out with an eye towards the future, focusing on long-term sustainability, health, conservation and financial stability.