Techniques & Products
All of our custom homes are built with quality in mind. If high effieciency and low heating bills are your goal, SIP (structural insulated panel) construction is the way to go. We are leaders in our field when it comes to high performance homes. If you are looking for a more affordable home, we also build using a more conventional stick-built approach, and you still get a better-than-code house, both in structural quality and energy efficiency.
Listed below are some of the advanced techniques and products that we utilize to create the perfect home to fit your needs. Each home is different, customized to your specifications, and may have various combinations of these items. For further information, we provide links to manufacturer pages, but feel free to contact us to learn more.
SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)
SIPs are an ideal solution to building a stronger, straighter, and more energy efficient home. They consist of a thick layer of EPS foam, laminated to two layers of OSB. SIPs can be used for walls, roofs, and even floors. SIP walls are 20%-30% stronger than standard 2x6 framed walls. As a manufactured product, built to our specified sizes, the panels are dry, straight, and square. The solid nature of SIPs makes them easy to air seal, which allows us to control ventilation of the house with fresh filtered air (see Ventilation below). The high R-value of the foam means you'll spend less money heating and cooling your home, and also be more comfortable year round. Visit our SIP supplier's website to learn more about their quality product.
Post and Beam
Through the use of post and beam construction, we can create an expansive and breathtaking interior, while maintaining a rustic charm with exposed wood, and accommodate large view windows to take advantage of your property's best visual assets.
Enviro-Dri is a weather-resistant barrier that we use exclusively. Applied directly to the exterior sheathing of your house, Enviro-Dri allows moisture vapor to exit the building, while preventing liquid moisture from getting in. This permenantly protects the sheathing of your house from mold and mildew. It also reduces the possibility of air infiltration, which allows us to properly control the ventilation of your home (see Ventilation below).
An important aspect in making your house comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient, is properly controlling the ventilation. Old houses have traditionally been very "leaky", allowing air to transfer easily between the outside and inside. Along with that transfer of air goes a transfer of heat. New energy codes have increasingly focused on controlling this transfer of airflow to maintain energy efficiency, driving builders to build houses more air tight. If you build a tight house, however, you need to introduce fresh air, or its occupants' health will suffer. One way to minimize the transfer of heat, and even decrease allergens, is to use an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator). This handy device provides fresh filtered air to the living spaces in your home and exhausts the stale air from bathrooms and laundry rooms. It has a built in heat exchanger to transfer the heat from the air leaving the house to the air entering, increasing comfort and saving energy.
Solar power is a positive way to receive renewable and clean energy for your home directly from the sun. Investing in solar power can give your home its exact property value or even more if you ever decide on selling it. Using solar energy also helps reduce the cost of those expensive electricity bills!
Ductless Heat Pump
Ductless heat pumps are extremely efficient at heating and cooling your home. They are easy to install and can be configured for many different applications. They work great in additions and remodels to supplement or replace existing systems, and in new homes they are ideal as the primary heat source and as zonal heating and cooling for bedrooms or other portions of the house.
Hybrid Water Heater
Utilizing the latest in heat pump water heater technologies can greatly reduce the energy costs for your home. These "hybrid" units contain a small integrated heat pump in addition to traditional electric heating elements, which allows them to operate in a wide range of environments, all while using significantly less energy. They come with intelligent controls which can even allow them to be put into a "high demand" mode which will provide more hot water than regular electric tanks of similar size. They can be installed in non-conditioned spaces, such as garages, with no ducting, or in living spaces, by ducting the the air inlet and outlet to the exterior. The unit will pull heat and moisture from any air passing through.