Green Building 101
In recent years, "Green Building" has become the construction industry's
most prevalent concept , and for good reason. Gone are the days when
a homeowner or business owner can ignore the rising energy and
operating costs of their structure. Gone also are the days where we, as
a society, can ignore the environmental implications of our presence.
Our resources are limited and rising in cost. Our communities are
growing and health issues are becoming more of a concern. These are
issues that affect everyone, and the solutions to these issues are
derived from common sense which everyone can embrace. "Green" is a
generic term which can apply to any building material, method, planning
procedure, or technology which addresses any of these issues.
The simplest and most common way to
be "greener" is to produce a structure
with greater energy efficiency; i.e. to
reduce the amount (and therefore the
cost) of energy needed to operate that
structure. For example, a solid
concrete wall system will insulate much
better than, say, a wood-frame wall
system. Metal roofing insulates better
than shingles. Foam insulation is better than pink fiberglass. Energy
efficient doors and windows, especially those which earn the Energy Star
label, insulate better than others. Why is all this insulation so important?
Because an HVAC system must work much harder to maintain desired
interior temperatures if the "building envelope" (wall system, roof system,
insulation, doors, windows, siding, etc.) has materials which allow interior
air temperatures to escape and exterior temperatures to permeate.
Even the HVAC system itself can be evaluated based on its operating
efficiency. Since HVAC costs are the largest monthly energy costs for
most homes and many commercial buildings, a "tighter" building
envelope and an efficient HVAC system will decrease costs. This is
the most basic and probably the most influential concept in Green
Now, the obvious response to this
is "Well, saving money is certainly
desirable, but what about the
added initial costs to produce this
tighter building envelope?". The
answer lies in a concept called the
"payback period". The "payback
period" is the amount of time it
takes for a product, in this case,
a building product, to "pay" for
itself. This means that a superior product - for example, a house built
with energy efficiency in mind - will save the owner money from the very
first day by having materials and components which make it more energy
efficient and therefore less expensive to operate. Over time, the savings
realized by this investment total the amount of the initial added cost.
From that point onward, the savings continue. Granted, the initial costs
may be more than that of a lower-performance product, but the benefits
in real estate lie in the long term. In addition, it is not uncommon for a
superior product to be less expensive initially. Every product which
achieves higher performance has a "payback period" and,
sometimes, a superior product is less expensive initially.
Keeping these two concepts in mind, Massey Construction, Inc. offers
our customers a materials choice which follows a Good / Better / Best
categorization. Material A may be good, but material B is better.
However, material C is the best. The best material is not always the
most expensive! We explain the pros and cons of each choice, discuss
the "payback periods" of the products, and help the customer make an
informed decision so that their project is as energy efficient as possible.
(This page is a work in progress. More to be added soon)
(407) 496 3598
Massey Construction, Inc.
Massey Construction, Inc.
1181 Pine Lane
Saint Cloud, FL 34771
ph: (407) 496-3598