Do you know the benefits of environmentally sensitive home construction? Wisconsin Green building construction offers a wealth of benefits for any construction project, beyond protecting the environment green building improves indoor air quality, lowers energy bills, increased comfort and most of all healthier for you and your family! The best green building project begins with a plan. From the plans to the finish Ruebl Builders will manage and craft your dream custom home or remodeling project.
The Green/sustainable plan
In order to build a green/sustainable custom home you need to start with a green plan. We start by utilizing site orientation, passive solar design and energy-efficient building techniques to have a carbon free footprint as possible. At this time you can decide on your foundation along with above grade walls whether you build with Icf (concrete) , SIPs (Structural insulated panels) or advanced engineered framing techniques.
ICF Foundation and Above Grade Walls (Concrete Home)
ICF Homes minimizes temperature fluctuations by absorbing and storing heat. This equates to an average of approximately 30-50% reduction in energy consumption for heating and cooling, which results in an equivalent reduction in harmful emissions.
Structural Insulated Panel (Sips)
SIPs help to create an inside home environment that is more easily and economically controlled…no drafts, no cold spots…your comfortable and the environment benefits because you’re using less energy and creating less pollution. In addition to their superior physical comfort, R-Control SIP structures are also very quiet and clean. This is due to R-Control SIP structures air tight envelope, so Freen Green designers always specify high performance air ventilation, heat recovery and air filtering systems to ensure optimum indoor air quality.
Whether you build ICF, Sips or an advanced framing stick built home there are some great insulating choices, Spider, closed cell Spray Foam or Bio Based Spray. The choice is yours for your Green Building Project. All can pass Environmental Specification 1350, the toughest indoor air quality test in North America, with a non-detect for formaldehyde.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases, hot water. Because they use the earth’s natural heat, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies currently available.
Energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy; “the amount of energy falling on the earth is given by solar energy constantly.”
Radiant Heat (in-floor heat)
Heat though out the floor with water, Warmth is carried to living spaces on invisible waves of radiant energy naturally. No other heating system can come close to the high degree of comfort provided by radiant heating. The efficient delivery of radiant heat is more comfortable while using less energy.
On Demand Water Heaters (Tankless)
By heating water only when it’s needed, ENERGY STAR qualified gas tankless water heaters cut water heating expenses by 30%, while also providing continuous hot water delivery.
With about 75 percent of the earth covered in water, it’s easy to assume that we’ll never run out. People living in areas where water is scarce, however, already understand the importance of conserving this precious resource. The good news is that we can all make a difference just by making a few small changes to our daily habits. Take showers instead of baths, which use 5 to 10 gallons more hot water. Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for approximately 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption.
Using a 95% efficient furnace and air handles versus a 90%. Select an air conditioning unit with a minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 to 15. Change or clean air filters monthly to improve airflow. Install a programmable thermostat with time and temperature settings.
High Performance Windows (triple Glazed)
Windows, doors, and skylights save you energy and money, increase the comfort of your home, and protect your valuable possessions from sun damage. They are also better for the environment because lowering your energy use means less air pollution from power plants.
In the average U.S. home, lighting accounts for about 20% of the electric bill. Americans can save money and protect the environment by installing ENERGY STAR qualified lighting. The easiest way to start saving energy is to change out the light bulbs in your current fixtures. If you are remodeling, building a new home, or just updating the look of a room, consider installing new ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures. When you replace a regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent one, that light fixture will use about 66% less energy. Installing dimmer switches.
Did you know that the average home spends about $2,000 on energy bills every year? Change to appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and you can save $75 a year in energy costs, while saving the environment.
You can get tax credits when your home is energy star qualified by a certified inspector. Air Flow Tests verify room-by-room air flows to ensure homeowner comfort in each room.
Blower Door Tests ensure that warm air remains inside during the winter and cool air stays in during the summer. Duct Testing can find leaks in your duct system, which if left undetected could dramatically reduce the efficiency of the air distribution system.
Green and Sustainable Products
Concrete Fly ash replacing energy-consuming Portland cement with recyclable materials and minerals offers two distinct benefits to the environment—it significantly reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and it minimizes massive landfill disposal.
Erosion Control and Storm Water Management
Due to these high erosion rates (lack of vegetation) and high delivery rates (efficient ditches and storm sewers), construction sites are by far the largest source of sediment that pollutes the water resources of Wisconsin.* WPDES Construction Site Erosion Control and Storm Water Discharge Permits are designed to help decrease the amount of sediment that pollutes Wisconsin’s waterways each year.
Weather its FSC-certified engineered lumber, recycled lumber or reclaimed timbers
Siding with Fiber-cement siding should be more durable than wood — it is termite-resistant, water-resistant, non-combustible, and warranted to last 50 years. Metal siding,Stucco or reclaimed brick are other options.
Using recycled shakes or slate, Metal roofing or a 30, 40 or 50 year shingle.
Indoor Air Quality
Dusty, dirty homes at any temperature can mean discomfort. The air in today’s tightly-sealed, well-insulated homes can become stale as the same indoor air is circulated and re-circulated. In fact, indoor air quality is among the Environmental Protection Agency’s top 3 health concerns. The agency reports that with dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, skin flakes, chemical fumes, and cigarette smoke the air inside your home can be 2-5 times dirtier than the air outside.
Construction and demolition (C&D) materials consist of the debris generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials, such as concrete, wood, metals, glass, and salvaged building components. Reducing and recycling C&D materials conserves landfill space, reduces the environmental impact of producing new materials, creates jobs, and can reduce overall building project expenses through avoided purchase/disposal costs. This section provides information on EPA’s efforts and other opportunities to reduce C&D materials, including:
Millwork, Cabinets and Doors
The use of domestic woods, reclaimed woods or recycled wood products.
The uses of recycled glass, concrete counter tops or recycled paper. IceStone® durable surfaces are strong like granite, not as porous as marble and heat-resistant like stone. The chemical composition is benign and 99.5% inorganic making it a very safe material from the standpoint of toxicity and fire resistance. Due to its high recycled content and Cradle to Cradle Certification, IceStone® materials can be used towards LEED points.
- Uses 85% post-consumer recycled materials including glass and oyster shells in a matrix of concrete
- Withstands up to 350 degrees of heat easily
- Contributes to LEED certification
- Stain resistant with sealant intact
Paperstone is a very durable countertop surface made of 100% Post consumer recycled paper. The paper is pressed with a formaldehyde-free dye and a cashew nut shell resin as a binder under 23tons of pressure. The result is a countertop that can hold up under much wear and tear.
Use paint with zero VOC’s and low odor and Green Guard Certified
Steel Floor Truss System
Steel I joist Floor system. Along with the trusses there is a metal deck with foam and in floor heat for a carbon free floor.
You can use recycled wood composite decking, solid plastic, FSC certified wood. Trex® is made from about 50 percent recycled and reclaimed plastic, and 50 percent reclaimed wood. These materials would otherwise go unused in landfills.
The use of tile, locally salvaged wood flooring (reclaimed flooring) domestic wood. Renewed carpets. “Green” carpet includes natural fibers such as wool, jute, sisal, sea grass, coir or recycled PET (polyester) plastic. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that can be used to produce a very durable hard surface for flooring. Products can be constructed with solid bamboo of one or more plies or with a single layer of bamboo that is cross-laminated on top of wood. Cork is typically harvested every nine years from the Mediterranean region. It is a natural, renewable product that can be used anywhere a resilient floor is needed.