Bringing Green to the Construction Scene

Construction crews are revitalizing an industry that’s been hit hard by the recession. Architects, designers, and builders are creating healthier, more environmentally friendly homes.

Naperville-based JB Architecture Group is building their 2nd LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified home.

“in the long run what this will do is give them a healthy home to live in,” said John Bieritz, the company’s President. “The indoor air quality will be tremendous.”

Features of this home include cabinets and flooring made of a red oak made of little volatile organic compounds. Traditional homes are built with high VOC materials, which can pollute the environment and make people sick.

With the help of designer Joan Kaufman, Naperville resident Nancy Harper had her family and dining room remodeled for that reason.

Her walls and floors are now completely free of VOC

“Its healthy during the process…it’s healthy long after – it’s just great & a lot of paint companies are going w/ it now so it’s a lot better than just a few years ago.

Also hazardous to a home is radon gas, which can cause lung disease. Builder David Huber often installs into new homes a tool that reduces the amount of radon that can often get absorbed into a home’s basement or garage.

Besides being healthier, green homes can also reduce your utility bills. Energy efficient boilers can be up to 98% efficient and last up to 30 years, compared to a traditional boiler that’s only 80% efficient and needs to be replaced about every 8 years.

“What you end up with is a very efficient way to heat your domestic hot water is which is typically the largest non-heating energy expense in a home but you also have extraordinary life out of that,” said Huber.

Standup: experts say building green homes is the way of the future. Members of jb architecture are already planning their next energy efficient home.

“This is how you should build a home,” said Bieritz. “You should be sensitive to the environment. Whether the house is a smaller home or a larger home, we want to be efficient in how we build it.

“Being green is nothing more than learning to properly consume,” added JB Architecture Group’s Craig Schneider, LEED Accredited Professional. “If we can make a decision is ultimately more durable, has less negative impact on the environment, is healthier for the occupants of the home, it just makes sense to do that.”

From environmentally friendly wood to VOC-free paint to an energy efficient boiler, there’s easy ways to make a home better for the owners and the environment. For other ways to make your home green, visit the National Association of Home Builder’s website at www.nahb.org.


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