Green houses don’t just happen—they’re planned and built purposefully.

Good Strategic Planning is the First Step in Green Building

Getting the Details right is the Second Step

Green houses don’t just happen—they’re planned and built purposefully. It begins with knowing what you want, and then knowing how to do it. Green building requires a systems approach: making sure that all of the components and systems of a house work together to provide a quality home that is comfortable, energy efficient, and healthy.

Busting the Green Building Myths


Green building — or sustainable building — involves incorporating eco-friendly elements into the design and maintenance of a home and minimizing the impact on the environment when building houses, condos and the like. More homeowners and builders are interested in green building and want to choose energy efficient features for their homes, so it’s important to know what’s fact and what’s myth.

“Green” is just a passing fad.

From kitchen cabinets to skylights to siding, consumers are looking for eco-friendly features for their homes, often paying premium prices for the extra value. High energy costs, limited natural resources, awareness of global environmental issues, better understanding of building science and growing health concerns are all contributing to a lasting green movement. The fact is that sustainable houses last longer, have fewer problems, are cheaper to live in and keep people healthier and happier. And who doesn’t want that to last forever.

Green homes cost more than other homes.

Sustainable building often requires more expensive building materials, smarter technology and complicated systems than conventional building. But when thinking long-term, green building actually saves money because the materials won’t have to replaced as often. So while initial costs may seem like a lot, green building offers better value when you consider the life-cycle costs. For instance, upgrading to energy efficient windows might cost more up front, but the reduced load on your heating and air conditioning system will help offset that cost over time.

Green houses can be too insulated or too tight.

Some traditionalists argue that houses need to breathe, and they caution against “too much insulation” and “building too tight.” But in reality, these are the least of our concerns. Most homes have uncontrolled air movement that wastes energy and increases the risk of long-term damage to building components. This can be alleviated by identifying and sealing air leaks and adding insulation. To offset this tightness, homes need mechanical ventilation to ensure that a supply of fresh air is circulated.

You need solar panels to be truly green.

Solar panels were once the universal symbol for green building. But the reality is that sustainable building means integrating a variety of energy efficient solutions that work together — from heating systems to interior finishes. When building green, focus on the house as a whole, not just particular green features like solar panels. Everyone working on the home, from the architect to the HVAC specialist to the electrician, should be involved in the green strategy. After all, will you be getting the most out of your solar hot water collectors and photovoltaic panels if you have leaky windows and poor insulation?

Low-flow toilets don’t work well.

After the federal government limited toilets to 1.6 gallons of water per flush, early models of the low-flow toilet were a flop. Times have changed, and homeowners have more options. Today’s redesigned low-flow models work as well or better than older water-guzzling models. High-efficiency toilets use even less water than standard low-flow models, some as little as 1.1 gallons. Dual-flush toilets, which have separate flush modes for solid and liquid waste, are another water-saving option.




Radiant Barrier Sheathing !

Radiant Barrier Sheathing helps reduce energy consumption and can save homeowners up to 17% per month on air conditioning costs. It installs like conventional roof sheathing, requiring no additional labor. In addition, use of Radiant Barrier Sheathing may allow builders to reduce the tonnage of the HVAC system. Radiant barrier is a cost-efficient product for helping meeting code requirements, and it can also help builders qualify for certification points in leading green building programs. 


  • It is made from wood – a renewable, natural resource.
  • Our wood procurement process targets small, fast growing trees that can be replenished more quickly than older, larger trees.
  • Radiant Barrier Sheathing uses certified forest management and fiber sourcing systems to help ensure that our wood comes from well-managed forests.
  • The entire log is used in our manufacturing process. All wood waste is repurposed or used to help fuel our mills.
  • We only use low-emitting, safe resins in the manufacture of Radiant Barrier Sheathing and do not add any urea formaldehyde.
Product Performance

  •  Radiant Barrier Sheathing is a structural product that can help reduce energy consumption.
  • As a result of using Radiant Barrier Sheathing, you may be able to reduce the tonnage of your HVAC system.
  • Radiant barrier is a cost-efficient product for helping meet code requirements.
  • Radiant Barrier Sheathing may help builders qualify for certification points in a number of leading green building programs.

Radiant Barrier Sheathing Products And ENERGY STAR® Guidelines

The EPA is currently in the process of developing new standards for educational and promotional messaging for radiant barrier products. Until new guidelines are in place, the EPA has requested that all radiant barrier manufacturers refrain from using the ENERGY STAR®logo or graphics in their materials. Radiant Barrier Sheathing

Radiant Barrier Sheathing

Radiant Barrier Sheathing

has honored this request and removed all ENERGY STAR references from Radiant Barrier Sheathing marketing and support materials. We look forward to the arrival of the new standards and to continuing to provide energy-saving Radiant Barrier Sheathing to homebuilders.

How Roof Overhangs Protect Your Home!

Our roof is the first line of defence in protecting our homes from the deterioration effects of driving rains, icy snows, and UV glaring sun. Roof design is critical to the performance of the building envelope and a well designed roof needs to look pleasant, be leak free, support gutters, provide roof ventilation, and help protect our home from rain and sun. Our roof overhangs play a critical roll in helping perform these roof functions.

What is the Purpose of Roof Overhangs?

Roof overhangs provide many roles:

  • Visual Appeal – Visual appeal is not part of a home inspectors primary concern in a home inspectionbut it is for our clients. Sloped roofs with overhangs are a traditional home appearance in Western culture (among others) and for good practical reasons, not just aesthetic.
  • Protect The Walls From Rain – The top of the wall is the most difficult area to protect from water ingress as most exterior siding materials rely on overlapping material to protect the building and there is no overlapping material at the top of the wall. (see our article on exterior siding materials here)
  • Protect The Walls from Sun – The Sun’s UV rays can do a lot of damage to the exterior of a home. Roofing material is designed to best withstand the rays of the sun and roof overhangs will act like a sun-hat for your building providing additional shade for the walls. This shade effect also helps to keep your home cooler in the summer.
  • Roof Ventilation – As heat rises in homes, it can become trapped (along with damaging moisture it carries) into the attic space of the home. Attics need ventilation to release the heat and moisture and roof overhangs typically provide the lower/cooler part of the air circulation through soffit venting in the underside overhangs. Warmer air then can rise out the roof vents higher on the roof.
  • Structural Integrity – Roof overhangs can provide some clues about the integrity of the roofing system. Signs of movement in the overhangs could indicate major structural issues in the home which would need further investigation.


Pex Benefits - Flexibility, Greater water pressure at fixtures, Lower materials cost,Reliable, It neither corrodes nor develops so-called "pinhole" leaks, Longevity (25 year warranty), No corrosion and Less likely to burst from freezing are just a few.

Pex Benefits – Flexibility, Greater water pressure at fixtures, Lower materials cost,Reliable, It neither corrodes nor develops so-called “pinhole” leaks, Longevity (25 year warranty), No corrosion and Less likely to burst from freezing are just a few.

Benefits of using PEX in plumbing include:

Flexibility. PEX has become a contender for use in residential water plumbing because of its flexibility. It can bend into a wide-radius turn if space permits, or accommodate turns by using elbow joints. In addition, it can handle short-radius turns, sometimes supported with a metal brace; in contrast, PVC, CPVC and copper all require elbow joints. A single length of PEX pipe cannot handle a sharp 90-degree turn, however, so in those situations, it is necessary to connect two PEX pipes with a 90-degree PEX elbow joint.

Direct routing of pipes. PEX can run straight from a distribution point to an outlet fixture without cutting or splicing the pipe. This reduces the need for potentially weak and costly joints and reduces the drop in pressure due to turbulence induced at transitions. Since PEX is flexible, it is often possible to install a supply line directly from the water source to an appliance using just one connection at each end.

Greater water pressure at fixtures. Since PEX pipes typically have fewer sharp turns, there is greater water pressure at the sinks and showers and toilets where it is needed.
Less materials cost. Cost of materials is approximately 25% of alternatives. One account suggested that the price of copper had quadrupled from 2002 to 2006.

Easier installation. Installing PEX is much less labor intensive than copper pipes, since there is no need to use torches to solder pipes together, or to use glue to attach pipes to fittings. One home inspector wrote that “Once you’ve worked with PEX, you’ll never go back to that other stinky glue stuff.” Builders putting in radiant heating systems found that PEX pipes “made installation easy and operation problem-free.” PEX connections can be made by pushing together two matching parts using a compression fitting, or by using an adjustable wrenchor a special crimping tool. Generally, fewer connections and fittings are needed in a PEX installation.

Reliable. It neither corrodes nor develops so-called “pinhole” leaks.
No fire risk during installation. Copper piping required soldering using torches, and there was a risk of flame and heat causing a fire; but with PEX there is virtually no danger from fire. Overall PEX piping is much safer to install; according to the U.S. National Fire Prevention Agency, torches used for soldering metallic plumbing ranked as one of the “top-ten leading causes of house fires each year.”
Acceptance by plumbers. There are routinely advertisements for plumbers specifically seeking ones with PEX experience.

Ability to merge new PEX with existing copper and PVC systems. Manufacturers make fittings allowing installers to join a copper pipe on one end with a PEX line at the other, as well as have options to reduce or expand the diameter of the pipes.
Longevity. The advantageous properties of PEX also make it a candidate for progressive replacement of metal and thermoplastic pipes, especially in long-life applications, because the expected lifetime of PEX pipes reaches 50 years. However, the longest warranty offered by any PEX producer is 25 years.
Suitable for hot and cold pipes. A convenient arrangement is to use color-coding to lessen the possibility of confusion. Typically, red PEX tubing is used for hot water while blue PEX tubing is used for cold water.

Less likely to burst from freezing. The general position is that PEX plastic materials are slower to burst than copper or PVC pipes, but that they will burst eventually since freezing causes water to expand. One account suggested that PEX water-filled pipes, frozen over time, will swell and tear; in contrast, copper pipe “rips” and PVC “shatters”. Home expert Steve Maxwell suggested in 2007 that PEX water-filled pipes could endure “five or six freeze-thaw cycles without splitting” while copper would split apart promptly on the first freeze. In new unheated seasonal homes, it is still recommended to drain pipes during an unheated cold season or take other measures to prevent pipes from bursting because of the cold. In new construction, it is recommended that all water pipes be sloped slightly to permit drainage, if necessary.
No corrosion. Copper and iron pipes can experience corrosion leaks but PEX does not have these problems.

Environmental benefits. One account suggested that PEX used in radiant heating was better for the environment than a copper choice, although it noted that the pipes were based on petroleum products.
Pipe insulation possible. Conventional foam wrap insulation materials can be added to PEX piping to keep hot water hot, and cold water cold, and prevent freezing, if necessary.

Water Heaters/Energy Savings / Rebates!




2.Longer Lasting!

Continued Energy Cost Savings – High efficiency tankless water heaters use up to 40% less energy than a standard tank hot water heater, equating to up to 40% in utility savings.

An Eco-friendly Lifestyle – Tankless water heaters reduce carbon emissions. If every U.S. household install a tankless water heater, it would equate to the CO2 savings of taking approximately 6.7 million cars off the road.

Energy Star® Rating –Most gas water heaters qualify for this important certification and the cost savings that are associated with it. Electric water heaters do not apply for the valuable Energy Star rating.

Reduced Landfill Waste – Instant hot water heater units last up to twice as long as traditional tank water heaters and use recyclable components and replaceable parts, dramatically reducing landfill waste. There is an average of 7.3 million water heaters disposed into landfills each year in the United States.

The  ValueSolutions of a tankless hot water heater product lines all offer a number of energy savings opportunities and incentives. No matter which instant hot water heater you select for your home, you can expect a return on your investment. – See more at:

Dual Flush Toilets!

Dual-Flush – The Toilet that Pays for Itself

Low-flow toilets (those that use 1.6 gallons per flush), have been standard in the United States since the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Although this was a great improvement over the previous 3.6 gallons per flush (gpf) fixtures, it’s estimated that, even at 1.6 gpf, as much as 20 percent of the household water we use goes right down the toilet – pun intended.

How can you take a chunk out of that statistic, reduce your water bill, and help the environment at the same time? Include dual-flush commodes in your water conservation plan. A dual-flush toilet, which uses between 0.8 and 0.9 gallons for a low-volume flush, could save a typical family of four about 7,000 gallons of water annually. These fixtures usually feature two buttons on the top of the tank as shown in the picture to the right. One button is used for flushing liquids at 0.8 or 0.9 gallons per flush; the second is used for solids at 1.6 or 1.28 gallons per flush. We flush liquids much more often than solids – hence the savings.

Toto® USA, Inc states that an average four-person family will save enough money via water conservation to pay for their dual-flush commode in three years. After that, of course, the savings continue for the life of the toilet.

This technology seems new to many of us, but that’s only because the US is far behind the times when it comes to water conservation. Dual-flush commodes have been used in Europe, Asia, and Australia for many years.

The EPA WaterSense Label Equals Dependability

Do you like the idea of saving water but worry you’ll end up spending a lot of money for a toilet that doesn’t work? Here’s some good news. First of all, many dual-flush commodes are priced comparably to their one-flush counterparts. Second, the introduction of standards and testing methods, coupled with the EPA WaterSense program, have caused dependable products to flood the market.

The majority of green homes I’ve certified have included dual-flush toilets. I’m happy to report, no complaints!

Products bearing the WaterSense® label perform their intended function as well as or better than their more traditional counterparts. And generally speaking, they’re about 20 percent more water-efficient. For a list of qualified low-flow products including toilets, bathroom sink faucets and showerheads, visit

Toilet Rebates

Many states offer high-efficiency toilet rebate programs for replacing less-efficient plumbing fixtures. Can’t beat getting a rebate for switching to a commode that will eventually pay for itself! Visit for a list of programs in your state.

US new home sales rocket higher in May!!!!!!!

Jun 24, 10:44 AM EDT

US new home sales rocket higher in May
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes rose in May to the highest level in six years, providing the strongest signal yet that housing is recovering from a recent slowdown.
New home sales jumped 18.6 percent last month following a 3.7 percent increase in April, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The gains followed declines in February and March that were blamed in part on harsh winter weather.
The big May increase pushed the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate to 504,000, the highest level since May 2008.
“This is the strongest level since the end of the recession and is an encouraging sign that housing activity improved in the second quarter,” Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays Research, said in an analyst note.
Home sales peaked last year at an annual rate of 459,000 in June, but then lost altitude. The decline reflected an increase in mortgage rates that occurred after the Federal Reserve began discussing pulling back on its monthly bond purchases that were keeping long-term interest rates low.
The inventory of unsold new homes was unchanged at 189,000 homes at the end of May, the same as April. That inventory level would be depleted in 4.5 months at the May sales pace, an extremely low level that underscored the fact that the supply of new homes remains well below historic averages.
Sales were up in all regions of the country in May, led by a 54.5 percent surge in sales in the Northeast. New home sales rose 34 percent in the West and 14.2 percent in the South. The Midwest had the smallest month-over-month sales gain of just 1.4 percent.
Even with the big overall gain, sales of new homes are still running at just about half the pace of a healthy real estate market.
But there have been some encouraging signs of a spring rebound in housing.
The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of previously owned homes jumped 4.9 percent in May, the biggest one-month gain in nearly three years. That increase pushed the sales rate to 4.89 million homes, the strongest showing since last October.
While economists were encouraged by the second straight monthly gain in existing home sales, they noted that the sales rate is still below the recent peak of 5.38 million sales hit last July.
Higher mortgage rates and the bad weather weighed on sales of both existing and new homes in late 2013 and early 2014. But sales seem to be staging a rebound, helped by solid job growth and growing inventories of homes for sale, a development that has helped to hold down price increases.
Economists say there is significant pent-up demand for homes as many potential buyers put off purchases over the past few years because of concerns about the economy.
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Recognize Housing’s Important Role to the Economy**

As policymakers begin debate on housing finance and budget issues that will impact job creation and future growth, they must understand the important role that housing plays in the U.S. economy. Considering the enormity of the total number of jobs attached to housing, a sector that normally accounts for more than 17 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, now is hardly the time to step back from the nation’s long-standing commitment to homeownership.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy during a May 7 hearing examining the drivers of job creation, NAHB economist Robert Dietz said that home building and remodeling have generated 274,000 jobs over the past 2 1/2 years.

“This expansion has direct economic benefits,” said Dietz. “Housing provides the momentum behind an economic recovery because home building and associated businesses employ such a wide range of workers.

Employment from new construction and remodeling has a wide ripple effect. About half the jobs created by building new homes are in construction. They include framers, electricians, plumbers and carpenters. Other jobs are spread over other sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale and business services.

Perhaps more than any other consumer product, housing is “Made in America.” New homes and apartments don’t arrive in this country on container ships from Europe or Asia, and most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured here in the United States.

NAHB analysis of the broad impact of new construction shows that building 1,000 average single-family homes generates:

2,970 full-time jobs
$162 million in wages
$118 million in business income
$111 million in taxes and revenue for state, local and federal governments
Similarly, construction of 1,000 rental apartments, including units developed under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, generates 1,130 jobs while $100 million in remodeling expenditures creates 890 jobs.

More than 1.2 million residential construction jobs have been lost since April 2006. The pace of recovery is debatable, but based purely on population growth and demographics, the U.S. will need to build 17 million additional homes over the next decade.

The gap between current production and potential housing production is about 700,000 homes. That represents more than
2 million untapped American jobs. This gap is a result of multiple factors, including deferred household formations, a lack of construction financing and flawed appraisal practices under which new homes get compared to distressed and foreclosed properties, thereby distorting true market values.

A strong economy is dependent upon a healthy housing market. The path forward is perfectly clear: Congress needs to take actions to restore the health of the housing industry to put America back to work.

This is a sentiment shared by American voters as well. An NAHB survey of 2012 voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners found that despite the ups and downs of the housing market, home owners and non-owners alike consider owning a home essential to the American Dream and support politicians who embrace pro-housing policies and the mortgage interest deduction.

An overwhelming 74 percent of the respondents said that owning a home is worth the risk of the fluctuations in the market and 68 percent of those who do not own a home say it is a goal of theirs to eventually buy one. Equally telling, more than seven out of 10 of all Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree that tax incentives to promote homeownership are reasonable and two-thirds of the survey respondents believe the federal government should play a role to ensure that 30-year home loans remain readily available and affordable.

The NAHB poll is consistent with a New York Times/CBS News survey that reveals more than nine out of 10 Americans oppose eliminating the mortgage interest deduction; a Harris Interactive survey that shows more than four out of five renters desire to be home owners; a poll released in 2012 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which found that voters also placed a very high importance on homeownership; and a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted in July 2013 which found that 86 percent of those polled said it was either “very important” or “important” to keep the mortgage interest deduction.

For more information on this topic, click on the following links:

Senate testimony of NAHB economist Robert Dietz on housing’s role in creating jobs
NAHB poll finds voters oppose policies making it more difficult to own a home
Impact of home building and remodeling on U.S. economy
Housing’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product