Building your own home affords the opportunity to make use of sustainable design geared toward your own lifestyle preferences. One of the most obvious and well-known methods of building green involves purchasing Energy Star rated appliances, fixtures, and windows for the new home. While absolutely a step in the right direction, there are a variety of other ways to boost the green characteristics of a new build.
A green building is ecologically friendly and leaves a minimal impact on the environment. Sustainable design should be considered from start to completion in the building process. Here are key points to consider before building a green home.
Achieving a greener home design is achievable with the installation of efficient heating and cooling systems. Both improve the air quality inside the home.
Surprisingly, building green can save construction companies and homeowners money. With minimal construction waste, hiring local labour, using locally sourced materials, and building with recycled materials, a green build makes economic and environmental sense. Depending on budget, compromises and changes can be made inline with your green home desires.
A home strategically located close to public transport or local amenities also cuts down on vehicle pollution. This is a key step toward a more carbon-neutral lifestyle.
Modern home design flows naturally from the indoor to the outdoor living space. Ideal green design integrates local climate and landscape. For instance, well-placed shade trees offer natural cooling to a modern home. Green home builders also implement organic gardens, indoor trees, sliding exterior walls, and cedar decking into eco-friendly designs while working with existing landscaping and the creatures that dwell there. Plant an abundance of lavender around your home and the honey bees will soon follow.
Eco-friendly materials are readily available for West Coast style builds. For example, Cedar siding is sustainably sourced on Vancouver Island. Aesthetically beautiful for decking, siding, fascia, and eaves and soffits, the use of untreated cedar avoids polluting the environment with harmful chemicals. The result of building with natural materials is improved air quality for both workers and home dwellers.
Furthermore, a well-insulated home reduces both heating and air conditioning costs. It also makes the home more comfortable for the entire family as good insulation keeps the home warmer over the winter and cooler over the summer.
USE OF RESOURCES
In addition, a well-designed home provides water-efficient sanitary installations that use less water. Rainwater collection and improvements to irrigation systems also up the ecological factor of environmentally friendly home builds.
Outfitting a home with Energy Star appliances can save thousands of litres of water over the year and greatly reduce utility bills. Solar panels may also be installed as renewable energy resources that heat water and generate your own electricity! Now that’s a satisfying step toward self-sufficiency.
Now is the time to go green with a home that brings us all closer to a more sustainable future. Why settle for the status quo when it comes to living in a beautiful, eco-friendly home you love to spend time in? A green home is an imaginative, creative process that gives you the gratification of living green.
Longhouse is the perfect place to source Cedar and Douglas Fir for your built-to-last green home. Forest Stewardship Council certified, and therefore, sustainable, these natural materials are ideal in designing an eco-friendly home. Join us in building a more sustainable future. Call us today to start your next project at 1-250-248-5887
Nothing in the history of construction has affected the construction industry like the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Disruptions in supply chains, the rapid rise of people working from home, and challenges of healthy air quality have shaken the world of building as we once knew it.
However, not all of these unforeseen circumstances arrive with negative consequences. Indeed, massive change heralds a new age of desirable improvements and innovations like no other.
Here we discuss how you can get a jump on fearless 2021 building trends.
SOURCING LOCALLY. Contractors everywhere have been forced into finding alternate suppliers in addition to paying more money for materials. This forces builders to re-evaluate business relationships and take risks on new unions. While this derives an element of risk, it’s an opportunity to source items locally and reduce shipping costs and delays from disrupted global suppliers. Besides, innovative suppliers and contractors will become more flexible in searching for new ways to save money, as well as new methods of sourcing materials closer to home.
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES. Since many vacations are cancelled and staying at home is encouraged, there will continue to be a significant upsurge in-home recreational building. Homeowners will be looking at building their own outdoor oasis for family leisure. Watch for clients looking to build spacious cedar decks, raised gardens, outdoor gazebos for entertaining, and hot tub and swimming pool areas on the horizon.
DRONES. Remote technology is already being employed on modern commercial job sites. If a task can be completely remotely then why not use it? For example, a contractor can see important visuals with the use of a drone. A drone can provide surveying, safety, and materials information throughout a site. The result can be substantial savings from insurance claims and valuable time saved.
IMPROVED AIR QUALITY. Now that most people are working indoors during a frightening pandemic, the importance of healthy air quality is essential. While challenges with providing healthy air inside buildings is nothing new when it comes to construction, poor air quality during a pandemic can be deadly. Hence, innovative heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is a concrete trend for 2021.
SAFETY FIRST. In addition to enhanced safety protocols we’ve been subjected to, adjustments have been made to mitigate the spread of COVID in construction. Besides mandatory masks and hand sanitizing, workers will often work separately or in smaller crews. Additional cleaning continues to be required for tools, gloves, and even hard hats. Sharing is discouraged and labeling items with individual names helps keep the spread of the disease minimal. Staggered shift work and smaller groups of workers on job sites at a time are the new rules. An emphasis on confident leadership, teamwork, and cooperation are all integral to making safety a priority on any job site in the year to come.
Regardless of cash flow disruptions and continual changes at every level of construction, the future looks bright and ground-breaking if you embrace the pioneering spirit. When you’re informed about these noteworthy trends, you’re sure to inspire trust and confidence from business associates.
Our own Vancouver Island specialty forest products company is here to help you innovate and move forward in construction projects for the year ahead. Longhouse is your local business that delivers specialty wood products from Vancouver Island mill direct to anywhere worldwide. To begin your next build call us today toll-free at 1-800-811-2010.
New construction in British Columbia is regulated by the BC Building Code (BCBC). What is the BCBC? A code that establishes provincial regulations to be adhered to by builders—a set of minimum standards, so to speak. These standards guide builders as to how new construction, repairs, demolitions, and alterations are to be completed.
In addition, the code further establishes the minimum requirements for health, safety, fire and structural protection, accessibility, and water efficiency in construction. The most recent code was amended in 2018 and came into effect on December 10, 2018. Afterward, revisions followed.
Chiefly, adjustments to the last building code amendment were geared toward making homes more energy efficient.
Several changes in BC Building Codes include:
• New requirements in the 2018 code combines requirements of the National Building Code 2015 with existing requirements in BC that achieve better accessibility. For example, common areas of apartments, condos and small retail shops are all affected.
• Builders are now allowed to construct a building using wood that reaches up to 12-stories high. This is up from the previous limit of 6-stories.
• Improved obligations for roofs and walls with the goal of increased energy efficiency.
• Extra controls for lighting aimed at reducing energy use.
• Improvements are required for stairs that increase accessibility and safety for everyone. However, the unnecessary requirement for two handrails on a curved stair has been removed.
• Carbon monoxide detectors or alarms are required in residential buildings.
• Another revision calls for improvements to fire alarms and exits that increase safety for people coming and going from roof-top areas.
• Language has been changed for added clarity regarding fire protection requirements between adjacent buildings.
• Updates have been made to radon data, established from recent studies conducted.
• Changes that became effective December 12, 2019, include encapsulated mass timber construction, as well as garbage and recycling room lighting requirements.
Comprehensive amendments and revisions may be found online.
The BC Building Code applies to the entire province of British Columbia, exclusive of the City of Vancouver and certain federal lands. It’s important for anyone planning a new build to abide by the most recent codes to keep occupants safe and make buildings accessible to all people.
Concerned Longhouse Forest Products customers may view the entire BC Building Codes free of charge on the Province of BC website. Alternately, anyone can purchase the binder online, packed with all the information required for compliance.