Saturday, April 19, 2008

Montrose House - A Sustainable Strategy

Environmentally-friendly Building Features:

· salvage existing structure- the “bones” (the brick masonry walls as well as the floor joists) of the existing row home will remain intact and will simply be strengthened with new wood members. This salvage effort will prevent unnecessary landfill debris, limit the amount of new material needed, and ultimately preserve some of the historic character of the home.

· deconstruction/salvage & construction waste management- the demolition (or deconstruction) of the existing structure will include the careful removal of any items that can be salvaged and the separation of the remaining material for recycling. The remaining materials from the demolition process will be either re-used in the project (wood floors will be planed down and reused, bricks from the façade will be used to create the back yard patio, etc), crushed for fill, mulched for landscaping, or recycled. During construction, the project will adhere to the latest waste recycling standards in order to reduce impact on local landfills.

· vegetated (or ‘green’) roof- an 'extensive' vegetated roof system will cover virtually the entire roof. Consisting of a variety of sedum plants, this roof will help with storm water management, provide additional insulation, help reduce the 'heat island effect', and last but not least, provide the resident their own private 'park' to enjoy.

· water management- in addition to the benefits of the vegetated roof, the paving at the rear patio will be laid in such a way as to remain pervious. This will reduce the amount of storm water leaving the site. A rain barrel will be located at the base of the downspout at the rear in order to capture rain water run-off that can be used for irrigation. Overflow from the rain barrel will spill into a rain garden consisting of wetland plants. Lastly, a stormwater planter will be constructed at the front of the property where the sidewalk meets the street. This planter will capture street and sidewalk rainwater as well as run-off from the building facade and allow it to infiltrate and recharge the ground water system.

· natural ventilation- while the building will include a high-efficeincy central HVAC system, operable openings on three sides of the residence, along with ceiling fans, will encourage natural ventilation to occur in moderate months. The continuously open, three-level stair will have an exhaust fan at the highest level which will help remove excess heat from the residence during the summer months in addition to increasing air circulation throughout.

· day lighting- introducing daylight into the center of the building through openings on side of the building will reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day, reducing overall energy needs and promoting a healthy environment.

· Non toxic and zero-VOC paints & stains / No carpet- reduces emission of chemicals and improves indoor air quality.

· woods and metals- new wood to be used in construction will be FSC certified and all metal will have a minimum standard amount of recycled content.

· reclaimed materials- the use of reclaimed material, such as old wood planks and floor joists, reduces the need to cut down additional trees and prevents material from ending up in the landfill. It also adds a unique character to the home.

· recycled material & finishes- rapidly renewable materials and materials with recycled-content (such as crushed quartz and recycled glass & cement countertops) will be used throughout.

· building insulation- closed and open cell, bio-based (soy) spray foam insulation will be used on all exterior walls. This provides a greater R-value than typical insulation and helps reduce air infiltration.

· low-flow plumbing fixtures- all water closets will be tank-type low-flow and/or dual flush. Faucets and heads will be low-flow. Reduces daily water consumption.

· energy efficient (Energy Star rated) appliances and equipment – high-efficiency appliances and HVAC equipment reduce electricity consumption.

· energy efficient windows- solid wood interior/aluminum clad exterior windows (low maintenance) with double-insulated, low-e coated, argon-filled glazing units (reduces HVAC consumption).

· compact fluorescent lights- reduces electricity consumption while providing higher-lumen output and lasts much longer thereby reducing replacement costs.

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