Lamar Valley Craftsman fully embraces and believes in the approach of building high performance / sustainable homes.
Our job is to listen and understand the client’s values and principles, and help establish performance goals for the home.
Do you want to lower your energy bills through super-efficient building systems? Does a child have asthma and the indoor air quality needs to be controlled? Do you want to reduce water consumption throughout your home and landscaping?
Each project has its own set of requirements and constraints that dictate the final product, as one size does not fit all. By addressing these factors in the pre-planning phase, Lamar Valley Craftsman will build a high-performance home that is ultimately a better home. Our approach is the same premise as any other custom home project; understanding the client’s needs, desires and values, and work with the architect and project team to deliver just that.
The smallest of details often bring the greatest delight to you, the homeowner.
What is high performance building?
A building that consumes less energy (maybe even produces it), is healthier, more comfortable, easier to live in, and more durable.
With today’s software and advanced design systems it is possible to model and understand how heat, air and moisture interact with buildings, occupants, and building components, or what is referred to as Building Science. Through this process the performance of buildings is revolutionized, which ultimately creates a better living environment for its occupant.
There are numerous building concepts, standards and certification programs throughout the country, and the ones listed below are most often referenced and designed to.
Passive House – Homes built to the Passive House standard are the standard bearer for a high-performance building, and typically use 80-90% less energy than a typical code-built house. This performance-based certification is pretty black & white – does the building meet the requirement for heating & cooling energy demand, air tightness, and overall energy demand.
The main building science principles of Passive House are:
- Continuous insulation
- Airtight construction
- Optimized windows & doors
- Balanced ventilation
- Minimal mechanical systems
Lamar Valley Craftsman is a certified builder through PHIUS.
Net Zero Energy Buildings – These are buildings whose annual onsite energy generation equals or exceeds the buildings annual energy consumption. The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program which requires the project to encompass the Energy Star program requirements is one avenue to consider when planning a project. Passive House standards, while not required to be a net zero building, dovetail and align with creating a building that is net zero.
Pretty Good House – While this concept doesn’t mandate a specific set of performance requirements, it’s more a mantra for high performance building. The main question asked is “what should you include in a house that does right for its inhabitants and the planet, but that does not go beyond reasonable environmental or financial payback”. PGH is a great concept that makes you think about all the practical items to consider when starting a custom home project.
Living Building Challenge – This program might be considered the gold standard of high performance and includes net zero energy as one of its seven all-encompassing green building targets or ‘petals’. While LVC has not been part of a Living Building Challenge project, the programs concept is embraced and agreed upon. Maybe LVC’s next client will start down this road.
LEED for Homes – LEED is a point-based certification system that measures how well a home performs as a green home. A LEED certified home is designed and constructed in accordance with a rigorous guideline of the LEED for Homes green building certification program. (The project – Modern Home Design, in the LVC home builder gallery was certified to this standard).