Green Residential Design
For clients interested in pursuing “green” or sustainable home design, Jay Madden Architect can assist during site planning, design & construction to help develop a home that is energy and resource efficient, as well as healthier and more comfortable for the occupants.
Principals of environmental sustainability include:
1) OPTIMIZING USE OF THE SUN with regard to solar heat gain, prevailing breezes, and, where practical, planting of well-placed foliage for summer shade.
2) IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY with tight construction and duct sealing, high efficiency ventilation / filtration systems, and selection of materials that limit off-gassing and indoor toxins.
3) USING THE LAND RESPONSIBLY by designing a comfortable, not oversized home, leaving more open space for residents to enjoy, adopting smart gardening practices with native plants that do not require extensive irrigation systems, and using landscaping rather than paved surfaces, which impede storm water infiltration.
4) CREATING HIGH-PERFORMANCE AND MOISTURE-RESISTANT HOMES by designing a building envelope with more durable and energy-efficient materials, and seal gaps or cracks where moisture and thermal transference can occur.
5) WISELY USING THE EARTH’S NATURAL RESOURCES by building and equipping a home with green materials with high levels of renewability, reusability, and durability, and low levels of embodied energy and environmental impact.
Jay Madden Architect can work with clients to implement any level of green building practices into their home. For those interested in limited measures, such as passive solar design, use of energy efficient building materials, installation of high efficiency utilities, or others, we can incorporate those specific items as part of the home design, without the necessity of requiring an independent third party certification. For a broader, whole house approach to the design of their home, clients may wish to consider participating in the New Jersey ENERGY STAR Home program. This program evaluates energy usage, including mechanical equipment and appliances, and provides Energy Star certification, which may qualify them to receive additional rebates and/or tax credits. For those interested in going beyond Energy Star, there is the LEED for Homes program, which evaluates all aspects of the home, including the site planning, building materials, and energy usage. This program provides national certification, and may also qualify for additional rebates and/or tax credits. Jay Madden Architect can consult with the homeowner to determine which approach is best suited for their needs and budget. Further description of the New Jersey ENERGY STAR Home and LEED for Homes programs are as follows:
- A New Jersey ENERGY STAR Home is built to be at least 15 to 35 percent more energy efficient than a standard home. In order to achieve New Jersey ENERGY STAR Homes certification, a home must meet a performance level of 85 points or less on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index, a nationally recognized standard for rating energy efficiency. To reach a HERS index of 85, a mix of energy-efficient measures, products and appliances must be included in the home. A whole-house approach to construction is taken in order to address the way insulation, ventilation, air and duct sealing, heating and cooling, and appliances and lighting work together. Energy-efficient features include: 1) Tight Construction and Ducts, 2) Improved Insulation, 3) High-performance Windows, Doors and Skylights, 4) High-efficiency Mechanical Systems, 5) Energy Efficient Products, and 6) Third Party Verification. If a client expresses interest in having an ENERGY STAR rated home designed and built, then we can assist with establishing the program, developing the design, documenting construction requirements, and helping with the selection of a qualified General Contractor.
- LEED for Homes is a rating system coordinated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants. Benefits of a LEED home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a LEED home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home. While there are already a number of local or regional green homebuilding programs, LEED for Homes is attempting to provide national consistency in defining the features of a green home to enable builders anywhere in the country to obtain a green rating on their homes. The LEED for Homes Rating System measures the overall performance of a home in eight categories: 1) INNOVATION & DESIGN PROCESS (ID), 2) LOCATION & LINKAGES (LL), 3) SUSTAINABLE SITES (SS), 4) WATER EFFICIENCY (WE), 5) ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE (EA), 6) MATERIALS & RESOURCES (MR), 7) INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (EQ), and 8) AWARENESS & EDUCATION (AE). The LEED for Homes Rating System works by requiring a minimum level of performance through prerequisites, and rewarding improved performance in each of the above categories. The level of performance is indicated by four tiers – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum, and must be verified through third-party verification through qualified LEED for Homes Providers and Green Raters.
Jay Madden Architect has designed a home seeking the LEED for Homes Gold rating (pending upon completion of construction, and verification through a LEED for Homes Provider). This home presently under construction is located at 54 Holly Drive, Loveladies, New Jersey. The anticipated date of completion of construction is approximately December 2009. Interested parties are welcome to visit the site, and stop by our office should they have any additional questions or comments.