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EarthCraft House: The Next Step in Green

“Green” is a term used so often and broadly that it has lost some of its significance.  What green means to Trigon is creating a well-built home with features, products and techniques that make the home more efficient, healthy and valuable which at the same time minimizing environmental impact during and after construction. 

This is easier than you might think.  Much of what is required to build an EarthCraft House is standard in a Trigon home.  This means that taking the extra step in green to achieve EarthCraft House certification is small, affordable and flexible and may actually save you money each month.  See the example.

 

Standard Green Features in a Trigon Home

Trigon includes a number of green features in each home that we build and we are constantly improving upon these.  These features range from energy efficient appliances to moisture prevention (one of the most destructive factors affecting a home) to products that prevent waste.  This is a brief list of green features included at no additional cost a Trigon home.

  1. ENERGY STAR®Click here to see the benefits of an ENERGY STAR home.
  2. Protected air ducts – The HVAC ducts are protected from debris during construction which improves indoor air quality.
  3. Insulated and conditioned basement – HVAC air handlers, duct work and water heaters are located in environmentally controlled basement space.  This means that these systems don’t have to work in the heat and cold of attic or crawl spaces, which allows them to perform more efficiently.
  4. Blown insulation – Blown insulation fills framing cavities more effectively than batt insulation creating a more efficient building envelope. 
  5. Insulated attic accesses – The attic insulation is not complete if the access panel is not insulated.
  6. Passive roof venting – Attic ridge vents and soffit vents help move air through attic space, helping to dispel moisture and cool the space in the summer.  Passive venting means there is no machinery and costs nothing to run.
  7. Air sealing – The house is sealed to prevent drafts the decrease energy efficiency and air quality
  8. House wrap – House wrap under siding or exterior veneer adds durability to the house and protects against moisture.
  9. Roof overhangs – Overhangs help create shade in the summer and don’t impede sunlight in the winter. They also help to keep rain away from the building envelope to prevent moisture damage.
  10. ENERGY STAR® appliances – These require less energy and water to run than standard appliances
  11. Ceiling fans – ENERGY STAR rated create air flow through a room and cost less to operate than the HVAC system.
  12. WaterSense faucets – These faucets are EPA certified to be low-flow and can reduce water usage in your house by more than 500 gallons a year.
  13. Vapor barrier at slabs – These barriers at the basement and garage slabs help prevent moisture from penetrating the house from the ground.
  14. Foundation drains – These sit on top of the footing and help to channel water away from the house.
  15. Ducted exhaust fans – Bath fans help move moist air out which reduces the likelihood of mold and improves air quality.
  16. Efficient framing design – This creates less waste during construction
  17. Engineered lumber – Roof trusses, OSB sheathing & subfloor, floor joists, headers and beams are made from engineered lumber which is stronger than conventional lumber and reduces waste.
  18. Finger jointed trim – The wood used to trim our houses is made from small pieces of wood joined together to create longer sticks, which creates less waste.
  19. Particle board shelving – This is a composite material made from tiny flakes of wood which creates less waste than other wood shelving.
  20. Low maintenance exteriors – Trigon uses 30-year warranty shingles, roofing drip edge, PVC clad trim boards and other features that require minimal maintenance and less waste.
  21. Recyclable carpet – The carpet we use can be recycled once you go to replace it.
  22. Tree preservation – Trigon works to preserve trees and vegetation on site.
  23. Waste management – Careful planning prevents waste during construction.

 

The Next Step

Improving upon the standard green features in a Trigon home to achieve EarthCraft House certification is simple and may be very cost effective.  By using a point system EarthCraft allows builders and their customers to select green features that work best for a family’s lifestyle and the specific location of the new home.  The next step in green means furthering energy efficiency and focusing on other criteria that make a new home environmentally preferable and sustainable.

Energy efficiency – EarthCraft House requires all of the homes built with their certification to meet Energy Star standards and typically these homes incorporate features that make them even more efficient.  The increased energy efficiency of an EarthCraft house reduces energy consumption by 30% and results in a reduction of over 1100 pounds of greenhouse gases introduced into the atmosphere each year.

Conscientiousness – EarthCraft House focuses on using products are recycled, recyclable and rapidly renewable, on preserving existing trees and on water conservation and reduction on stormwater pollution which help ensure that EarthCraft homes conserve natural resources and protect ecosystem biodiversity.

Air Quality – Indoor air quality is achieved using materials that are treated with fewer or without harmful compounds.  It also means using products and techniques that protect the home against moisture.  This creates a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

Durability – Durable construction materials mean less maintenance, saving your time and money.  It also means that features, like roofing, need to replaced less often decreasing material waste in the future and features, like exterior eaves, do not need to be painted eliminating the energy and chemical used to produce paint products.

EarthCraft House allows for builders and their customers to selectively design the green features of a new home.  Here is a list of some of the possible green features that can be incorporated into a Trigon home.  We are constantly adding to our knowledge, techniques and products.  If you are interested in other green features, please contact us.

  • Site planning – mill cleared logs, mulch stumps and branches

  • Additional tree planting

  • Xeriscaping using native plant species

  • Insulated concrete forms

  • Engineered wall framing

  • Structural insulated panels

  • 2x6 exterior wall framing with additional insulation

  • Larger roof overhangs

  • Higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rated cooling equipment

  • Variable speed air handlers

  • Programmable thermostats

  • Geothermal heat pumps

  • Tankless water heaters

  • Solar water heating

  • Energy Star light fixtures

  • Solar tubes

  • Reclaimed wood flooring

  • Recycled content tiles, carpets and countertops

  • 40 or 50-year warranty roofing

  • Stucco, stone, brick or fibercement siding

  • Covered entryways at all doors

  • Recycled content decking

  • Garage exhaust fans

  • Automatic (timer or humidistat) bath exhaust fans

  • Dehumidifiers for basement

  • Additional ceiling fans

  • Low-VOC products

  • Dual-flush toilets

 

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