Energy Efficient Buildings
Achieving optimal energy efficiency is a combination of good insulation, a tight building envelope and efficient heating and cooling equipment.
- We have expertise with most insulation products, including fiberglass blankets and battens, closed and open-cell spray foam insulation, rigid insulation boards, structural insulated panels (SIPs) and cellulose insulation. Our expertise in European thick-wall construction (double walls of 8in to 13in thickness filled with special dense-pack cellulose and achieving insulation values of R-50 and more) is unique in North America.
- We have built structures which are so tight with regard to air loss and infiltration that they far exceed typical goals for energy efficiency.
- We use highly efficient furnaces, water heaters (including on-demand water heaters) and air-conditioning equipment or prepare the structure to receive such equipment installed by others.
- We have experience with renewable energy systems, including solar hot water heating and photo-voltaic arrays.
- We have extensive experience with HRV and ERV energy recovery systems.
- We served as an advisor to the 2nd place team at the 2011 “International Solar Decathlon.”
- Visualize a typical suite in a dormitory on a mountain top that has been continuously monitored and shown to require less energy in the coldest month than the equivalent of half a standard hair dryer. We’ve built such a building.
- Visualize a home on the US Gulf Coast that has been continuously monitored to show that is has returned more energy to the utility grid than it utilized, i.e. better than “net zero.” We’ve built multiple homes that accomplish that.
- Visualize a building at a remote drill site or at the end of a Canadian ice road that has to operate completely “off-the-grid.” We’ve done both.
- A sustainable building should not only use energy efficiently, it should minimize the use of energy, including fuel, during construction. An independent university study comparing total energy use of on-site and off-site construction has shown that off-site methods use less energy.