Carrington utilizes “green building” practices. Green building encompasses not only the final finished home, but also the process involved in constructing the home, and has as its goal the lessening of the environmental impact of the new home on our water supplies, energy supplies and natural areas. Carrington Homes has been using “green” techniques whenever possible in its homes since its inception in 2002.
First, we determine the proper siting of the home to lessen or avoid impacts with forested areas. Clearing and grading is kept to a minimum. Native topsoil is stripped and stockpiled for later use during the finish grade. Then we develop, implement and monitor a proper storm water pollution plan for the lot. We use erosion control features such as traditional silt fence, mulch-filled silt fence or hay bales to prevent sediment from entering storm drains and watercourses, thus protecting the environment.
During the construction of the home, we closely manage the process to reduce the amount of waste generated and to separate the waste so that waste materials can be appropriately recycled. We frame our homes with 2x6 studs spaced 16” on center. Unlike national production builders, we do not use inexpensive finger jointed studs made from scrap in the construction of any of our homes, believing instead that the best 'green' use of such scrap lumber is bio fuel for kiln drying or electrical production. Our use of 2x6 studs results in a thicker wall insulated with R-19 insulation instead of the R-13 insulation used in walls constructed of 2x4s (32% better insulating properties). All exterior walls are sheathed with 7/16” oriented strand board sheathing (OSB) and wrapped with a vapor barrier (e.g. Tyvex® housewrap). Care is taken to avoid thermal bridging of structural members. All bottom and double top plates on the exterior walls and all double stud locations are sealed with caulking to prevent air infiltration.
Throughout the home, we use engineered lumber made from small, fast growing plantation trees instead of larger diameter older growth timber. The I-joists that we use provide for a stronger and quieter floor, yet use fifty percent (50%) less wood fiber than traditional dimensional lumber. Dimensional lumber used for framing is, to the extent possible, obtained from mills that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The certification assures that the forest
from which the wood was harvested is managed in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible manner through proper implementation of best management practices.
The exteriors of our homes are typically clad in low-maintenance, long lasting surfaces such as brick, natural stone, and cement board siding. We use only the highest quality, energy efficient windows throughout our homes. All windows have Low-E glass and are argon filled for energy efficiency. Windows have wood frames with vinyl cladding, which provide better insulation than aluminum frames. The frames of all windows are taped with window tape to prevent the intrusion of air and water around the window frame. Carrington Homes is currently in the process of becoming an Energy Certified Builder.
We are strong proponents of the use of geothermal heating systems in the homes we construct. Geothermal systems are extremely efficient systems. During winter, a geothermal system draws heat from the earth to heat the house. During the summer, the system transfers heat from the house to the earth. With a geothermal system, there is no need to adjust the thermostat while you are away or sleeping in order to save energy. While the geothermal systems are slightly more costly on the initial installation than a high quality, energy efficient natural gas system, a geothermal system is projected to pay for itself in energy cost savings in just a few years. Added benefits of a geothermal heat system are hot water assist (i.e., the system preheats the water in the hot water tank resulting in energy efficiency) and the absence of noisy air-conditioning units located on the exterior of the home. More information on geothermal systems can be found at www.waterfurnace.com, the website of our equipment supplier.
Finally, in the interiors of our homes, we use high-quality paints that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to improve the air quality of the home. We have also used, at the customer’s request, bamboo floors and carpet with a component of recycled material, which are environmentally friendly flooring options.
We look forward to discussing how Carrington Homes can work with you to design and construct the energy efficient custom home you desire.