Sterling Homes is considered a leader in the green building industry, but what does that really mean? The goal of green design is to maximize efficiency with the environment in mind. It is done in a manner that is sustainable in the long term but also helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the project at large. At Sterling Homes, one way we do that is by building all of our homes in accordance with the National Green Building Standard (NGBS). This certification goes beyond efficiency; it assures independent, third-party verification that a building meets strict requirements with high performance. These requirements are divided into 6 categories: Site Design, Resource Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Building Operation & Maintenance. Each category is equally weighted showing the importance of a sustainably well-rounded design plan. By choosing to build with Sterling Homes, you (the customer) are making impactful change.
All buildings designed by Sterling Homes meet National Green Building Standards but customers can also upgrade their impact by choosing to design their home to be Base Level 2.0 Efficiency Vermont Certified. Doing this includes balanced ventilation and continuous insulation. Additionally, customers can also choose to go further, achieving High Performance Homes Efficiency Certification.
While it may seem like everything is centered around energy efficiency, there is true value in a diversified plan. Sustainability in this context comes from eliminating waste when possible and reducing system to conserve materials in the form of energy, electricity, water, and space. These ideas might be hard to visualize but they are manifested into the building of each home in many ways. Some features that contribute to a more sustainable and energy efficient home are…
- The building shell is what separates the interior space of the house from the exterior space. A tight building shell is the basis of energy efficiency. It is crucial that excess air moving in and out of house is minimized; the more airtight the house is, the less energy you’ll need to spend on heating and cooling and the more comfortable it will be.
- A Heat or Recovery Ventilation system is commonly used for mechanical ventilation. It uses a process of exchanging the energy contained in “used” air (inside a building) and using that energy to precondition the incoming (outdoor) ventilation air.
- An insulated water heater combined with a drain water waste heat recovery effectively “reuses” heat from water.
- A low base temperature for a water heater prevents unnecessary heating.
- Energy efficient appliances that are preprogrammed to save electricity (washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.).
- Connecting all outlets to switches that can be turned on and off to prevent “ghost loading.” (when energy is being used but not powering anything) .
- Exploring options for renewable energy and solar power, which can power a house throughout the entire year.
Building according to this set of guidelines benefits not only the homeowner and their wallet, but also the environment. Sterling Homes focuses on connection, efficiency, and simplicity in the building process when creating the perfect home. Not only are we dedicated to customer satisfaction, but also to reducing their carbon footprint through green building and sustainable design.