HVAC partnerships are required in home construction as design and construction of an energy-efficient home can be a challenge. With the rising cost of energy coupled with demand for sustainability, it is a challenge that builders must meet. Energy-efficient doors and windows, as well as appliances, have been a standard in home construction for some time, but with new technologies, there are more opportunities to build green.
HVAC Partnerships Offer Great Advice
1. A Sustainable Site Design
A sustainable site begins with site selection. Each location must be evaluated with an eye toward the house’s potential orientation to take advantage of passive solar design. In addition, site selection goes beyond merely a determination of how the project fits into the existing ecosystem. Affordable, energy-efficient housing design also needs to consider access to services, transportation, and rapid transit.
2. The Foundation and Slab
Foundations and slabs are areas often overlooked in designing for energy-efficiency, but insulating these are as important as walls and roofs, especially in units where water and air heating units are housed in basements. Concrete made with fly ash and recycled aggregate can improve the sustainability rating. Finally, new technology is emerging in foundation materials, such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). According to the Insulating Concrete Form Association, homes built with SIPs can help homeowners save hundreds of dollars each year on energy bills.
3 The Wall and Roof Assemblies
Walls and roofs in an energy-efficient building not only need to be well insulated, but the materials themselves should promote sustainability. Sheathing products and structural insulated panels are available using bio-based materials created from agricultural waste. Walls are another area where SIPs and ICFs can be utilized. New technology is gaining ground in wall materials, which provides energy efficiency in a cost-effective and durable product. And finally, old materials, such as prefab and modular components are seeing light in new ways, with modern, energy-efficient materials incorporated into the modules.
4. Insulation and Air Sealing
Regardless of the type of construction, insulation and air-sealing are at the heart of any energy-efficient design. Whether traditional fiberglass based insulation, modular panels or a combination of the two, the R-values required to claim the home as ‘green’ is much higher than most local building codes require. Providing a proper external thermal envelope is the key to energy-efficiency.
5. Energy Efficient Doors and Windows
Traditionally, much of a building’s heating and cooling loss was through windows and doors but improved technology in all facets of the window and door design is reducing this transfer. In the design and construction of energy-efficient houses, particular care should not only be given to materials and coatings for windows and doors, but consideration for the orientation of the building. South facing windows will want to take advantage of passive solar designs while those on the other sides need to minimize all heat transfer.
6. Controlled Ventilation
Modem well-insulated houses composed of modular materials, tend to be much more air-tight, so it is important to consider the ventilation process. Ventilation not only maintains the air quality inside the structure, but properly planned ventilation systems can help with the energy efficiency of the unit. Heat recovery ventilators can use heat exchangers to recover much of the heat lost through traditional ventilation systems. Instead of blowing the warm, but stale air out into the environment, this heat is trapped and recirculated as an energy-efficient way to warm the air inside, reducing waste and energy consumption.
Partnering with the HVAC experts at Valley Comfort Heating and Air will ensure that you successfully build a home that have all HVAC requirments. We value working with home building contractors as we enjoy providing valuable advice needed in the home building process. If you are a contractor and looking for a HVAC partner then look no further and contact us today!