Happy Earth Day! Go GreenSmart ® – Reduce Energy Use

Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths, and nationalities. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to be concerned about what we can do to help increase awareness and reduce our environmental impact on a daily basis. At Brock Built homes, we established a conservation and quality building program several years ago, to specifically address these concerns and remain dedicated to becoming more GreenSmart every day.

Not (so) Long Ago…

Today we celebrate a needful change in our collective conscious that began in 1970. It was amidst troubled times in our nation and the world that the environmental movement, as we know it, began forty-five years ago on this date, in the United States. Shortly after seeing the impact of a large Southern California oil spill in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was inspired by the student protests of the anti-war movement and decided to find a way to infuse that sort of enthusiasm into growing public concern about air and water pollution. His efforts along with many others would result in forcing environmental protection onto the national political agenda. What we celebrate each year on April 22 as Earth Day, began when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Ultimately, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

GreenSmart’s Environmental Effect

Brock Built’s dedication to environmental cognizance and preservation led to the development of the GreenSmart® program. The GreenSmart Program effectively saves energy and money.  As of 2014, 41% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial buildings according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Buildings constructed under the GreenSmart program are much more efficient, inherently meaning they will consume significantly less energy. This leads to a reduced environmental impact and less expensive utility bills, ultimately saving homeowners hundreds of dollars annually. The GreenSmart Program is very comprehensive and consists of multiple components developed in order to deliver on preserving the environment and reducing the energy cost of living for homeowners.

GreenSmart® Program Delivers

Here is the list of standard features and benefits included in this conservation and quality building program:

Radiant Barrier Roofing
This specific roofing material blocks out 97% of all radiant heat going into the attic. This acts as an external form of protection that keeps your home naturally cooler. Radiant Barrier Roofing has been proven to reduce homeowners’ monthly air conditioning costs by up to 17%.

House Wrap
A protective material that prevents air and water infiltration of your home structure. The wrap further seals the house, yet allows it to breathe to avoid condensation buildup. This better seal contributes to the lowered energy costs.

Windows and Exterior Doors
All openings between windows, door assemblies, jambs, and framing must have a spray foam sealant applied. Tape and silicon are also applied around all windows in order to further seal them and protect your home from the elements. Brock Built uses low emissivity glass; a coated glass product that reflects heat, in order to lower homeowners’ energy costs. This glass has a very low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SGHC); the standard measurement of a window’s shading ability. The windows reduce energy costs by preventing sunlight from heating up your home, inherently maintaining a more constant temperature within the home.

Air Sealing
The GreenSmart Program requires the sealing of the attic stairs and knee walls, as well as all of the exterior utility penetrations. The building’s thermal envelope is sealed to limit infiltration. It also requires the application of mastic and caulk on all HVAC boots. This extensive sealing process ultimately encloses the home and protects it from air permeation.

Insulation
Utilization of a Spray-On Fiberglass Insulation System for thermal and sound control. When this system is sprayed into a wall cavity, it fills around pipes, wires, electrical outlets and other objects, virtually eliminating gaps and voids, and significantly reduces air infiltration. The increased density of fiberglass delivers higher R-values, and provides excellent noise control properties.

Plumbing Fixtures
One of the primary components is the conservation of water, which is achieved by setting maximum gallon per minute (GPM) standards on plumbing fixtures. Lavatory fixtures are set at a low flow 1.5 GPM, shower fixtures are set at a 1.75 GPM low flow setting, and tub fixtures are also set at a low flow 1.75 GPM. Toilets are set at a standard of 1.6 gallons, but the GreenSmart Program offers an optional 1.28-gallon as well.

HVAC
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of a home typically accounts for a large part of every homeowner’s utility bills. This is why the GreenSmart Program utilizes 14 Seer A/C units, which save hundreds of dollars annually when compared to a standard 13 Seer air conditioning unit. High-efficiency gas furnaces are also used in GreenSmart homes. These furnaces pay for themselves with the outstanding savings they offer. They provide a more comfortable temperature and the quietest noise level. Digital Programmable Thermostats are the last component of a GreenSmart home’s HVAC system. These thermostats are proven to cut utility bills for homeowners up to 20%.

Light Fixtures
50% of all light bulbs within each home must be high-efficiency bulbs.  This protects the environment by conserving a considerable amount of energy. On average, high-efficiency bulbs use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, saving roughly $40 in electricity costs over the course of the bulbs lifetime. Additionally, high-efficiency bulbs produce about 75% less heat, consequentially resulting in safer operation and lower home cooling costs.

Appliances
Brock Built proudly and exclusively uses ENERGY STAR Appliances under the GreenSmart Program. ENERGY STAR dishwashers are roughly 41% more efficient than the current 2007 Federal standard dishwasher, and they save an average of $120 over the life of the product. 20-30% more energy efficiency can be expected from an Energy Star refrigerator opposed to non-qualified refrigerators. Qualified Energy Star washing machines typically use 37% less energy and over 50% less water than regular washers, despite their larger load capacity.

Testing
Quality and functionality testing are mandated under Brock Built’s GreenSmart Program, resulting in a Duct Tightness Test and Blower Door Test. Testing is always performed by a certified verifier test. The test requires less than 7 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal’s, the unit of measurement for air pressure (7 ACH50). These tests reassure the premium optimality of Brock Built’s homes, saving the consumer money and from future headaches resulting from dysfunctional products. Brock Built always strives to provide the best quality, most efficient, and environmentally friendly home to all of our fellow “green-minded” individuals.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about the GreenSmart® program or how you can see and learn more about the details involved by visiting one of our metro Atlanta new homes, townhomes, and new home communities in person. Find contact details for our Community agents here or get in touch with us via our website, brockbuilt.com.