Ascent Home Builders began scouting new Bozeman green building opportunities to combine sustainable building principles, design creativity, and master construction techniques. Ascent was able to locate an older, energy consuming home, 721 S. Tracy Street, which is close to Bozeman schools and parks and just a few blocks from downtown Bozeman.
This cutting-edge Bozeman design/build construction firm’s aim was to transform an existing home into a healthy, energy efficient Bozeman green home that would be built to Bozeman’s strict city building codes, be inexpensive to operate, last longer, and require less maintenance than Bozeman’s typical new built home.
Ascent Home Buildersconsidered not only the infrastructure of this house itself but considered everything encompassing it, even how this Bozeman LEED home and its future occupants would relate to the Bozeman community.
Ascent’s green building goals for this prime Bozeman green building offering were a combination of energy efficiency, resource conservation, and facilitating stellar indoor air quality.
- Northwest Energy Star Certified – 40% more efficient than current building code requires.
- Exterior rigid foam insulation wrapping, eliminating heat transfer through wood and other surfaces, which cause energy-wasting “thermal bridging.”
- Use of high-performance Anderson Windows with a U factor rating at or below .30, which is better than Energy Star’s minimum ratings.
- Increased Wall and Attic Insulation levels to reduce heating and cooling loads.
- Blower Door Test performed to properly seal air gaps, resulting in better heating and cooling efficiency, helping to lower energy loading on the home’s mechanical system.
- High-efficiency heating and hot water systems, which reduce energy consumption.
- Energy Star certified kitchen appliances.
- Compact Fluorescent bulbs, which last longer and require less electricity
Resource Conservation in Green Buildings
- Use of advanced Framing Techniques, reducing lumber, which increases wall cavities and insulation values.
- Installation of Rain Screen Walls prior to applying siding system, allowing air flow and moisture control on the building’s exterior, and creation of a drainage plane for interior condensation.
- Recycling of job site waste.
- Use of long lasting, low maintenance, rot and mold resistant cement fiber exterior siding.
- Thorough use of engineered lumber that uses wood fiber more efficiently than solid sawn lumber, and which is fabricated from wood species that are actively regenerated.
- Water-saving low flow toilets and plumbing fixtures.
- Use of sustainable, rapidly renewable materials like bamboo flooring and recycled glass tiles.
- Sourcing local building materials to reduce transportation, consumption, and overseas shipping costs.
- Reuse of existing walls and foundations to reduce “new” material usage.
- Proper home ventilation, ensuring fresh air is cycled through the home.
- Using non- or low-VOC paints adhesives and solvents, which release toxic gases.
- Limited use of carpet that collects dust, dander, and other chemicals.
- Proper Sealing of the home’s thermal envelope, eliminating mold
Advantages of Green Remodeling vs. New Construction
- Remodeling uses fewer materials and requires less energy resources than does new construction, capitalizing on the materials and energy that were invested in the original home.
- Remodeling protects undeveloped land, doesn’t disturb drainage patterns or plant and animal communities, and doesn’t require new roads, sewer lines, and costly infrastructure expenditures.
- By being located in an existing community, the home’s proximity to schools, recreation, stores, and services saves energy and money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Replacing the older home with the newer, energy efficient version of the original home, saves overall consumption and environmental impact.