Ecologically tuned landscape of native plant species, bioswales, and rain gardens. The storm water runoff that would otherwise flow directly to Lake Chautauqua is slowed by a series of on-site detention areas that allows water to slowly evaporate, perk into the water table, or eventually flow to the lake after being filtered by the roots of carefully selected plant medium.
The home exists on a previously developed site with strong connection to natural resources and parks, as well as close connection to the Chautauqua Institution community. Each of these are green home features because they add to the quality of life and community.
The home incorporates low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce the use of water for lavatory and shower usage. The site uses harvested rainwater and treated greywater to irrigate all vegetation, reducing potable water usage for irrigation by 70%.
The energy usage of the new home is far below a standard home based on its HERS rating of 39 (the standard new code compliant home is 100). To achieve this extremely low HERS rating several strategies were employed including: Super insulated building envelop (R-55 walls and R-102 Roofs), 29% glass to floor ratio, geothermal heating and cooling with radiant floor, passive solar design including careful window placement and external louvers, lighting is designed to a lighting power density of .67 watts/square foot, all appliances are Energy Star rated, and on-site photovoltaic electricity production.
The construction methods improve the energy performance and material conservation through the use of structurally insulated panels (SIP’s) and efficient framing. All wood products environmentally preferable products and are Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC).
Construction finish materials included materials that are predominantly available within the region, reducing and eliminating transportation and the fuel associated with transport. Materials were specified that contained high percentages of recycled content. Materials also included those with manufacturer programs to recycle installation waste to minimize waste to landfill.
80% of the construction waste generated during the building of the home was diverted from landfill and toward recycling alternatives.
The indoor air quality of the home is enhanced with operable windows, stack induced cross ventilation, an energy recovery ventilator, high quality filtering medium, and protection from pollutants like radon and garage pollutants.
The final step in the green homes process is the handing off of an operations and maintenance guide from the builder to the owner to help ensure systems and products are operating properly post-construction.