More and more companies are advertising themselves as green, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to weed out the "pretenders" from the "contenders." We do our best at Fish Builders to keep up on these products and the companies that produce them, and we can help you make decisions on the products you put into and use in your home. At Fish Builders, we don't only say we build an energy-efficient home; we prove it with diagnostic testing and third-party certification. We are proud members of Built Green Colorado and Energy Star, and everything we do is rated to these standards.
Energy Star is a voluntary program, run through the United States Department of Energy, concentrating on the energy efficiency of a home. To get an Energy Star rating, a home must prove through testing to surpass the energy efficient requirements of a home built to the International Energy Conservation Code (our current code in Chaffee County) by 30 percent. To learn more, go to their website at.
Built Green Colorado was started in 1995 and has quickly become one of the most extensive and highly respected green building programs in the country. To achieve a Built Green certification, a home must incorporate elements of green building in several different categories, including energy efficiency, health and safety, material-resource efficiency, and water conservation. Greg is a member of the Built Green Hall of Fame. To learn more, go to their website.
It has been said that Energy Efficiency is the foundation of green building. We take that philosophy very seriously at Fish Builders. Many of us drive fuel-efficient cars, car pool and ride bikes, all in an effort to decrease the amount of fuel we use and how much carbon we emit into the atmosphere; but how many of us worry about how much our homes pollute? Residential and commercial building account for about one third of the energy consumption in the United States today. At Fish Builders, we think that means that we have a tremendous responsibility to make every home we build as energy efficient as possible. We look at each component of the house, and we think about how it affects the efficiency of the home. Everything from solar orientation to lighting affects how your house will perform, how much it will cost you to operate, and how easy it is to maintain your comfort.
We introduce fresh air to the home by using mechanical ventilation. You may have heard someone say, You don't want your house to be too tight, or A house has to breathe. Well, these statements are only partially true. Although we do want to let the house breathe, at Fish Builders we do not believe in the build it with holes, and hope that the house ventilates itself theory. What we do believe in is build it tight, ventilate it right. What does this mean, exactly? Mechanical ventilation! In every home, we install what is called a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).
A small, efficient unit, an HRV basically circulates the air in the house by expelling stale air from the house and replacing it with fresh air from outside. When it does this, the HRV will exchange the heat from the exhaust air to fresh air, thereby maintaining temperatures in the house while it keeps the air you breathe fresh.
Material and Resource Efficiency is often one of the more highly visible elements of green building. Construction as a whole accounts for about 40 percent of the materials entering the global economy, and in America alone, the home-building industry uses about half of the world's demand for wood. Statistics like these show the need for better ways of building. We pride ourselves at Fish Builders in constructing well-built, environmentally friendly structures, using about twenty five percent less material than the average home built in the United States. We are well versed in choosing materials that have less of an impact on the environment, including many products with recycled content, smaller carbon footprints, and a better end-life recycling potential.
At Fish Builders, we pay attention not only to the impact of what we build, but also to how we build it. We have an extensive on-site recycling program. Approximately 75% of the waste from a construction site is recyclable, and unfortunately most of that usually goes to the landfill. At Fish Builders, we work hard to recycle any products we can from our cardboard and other basic recyclable products, to the pop cans from lunch. All of our wood and drywall waste is separated from the trash and hauled to an offsite grinder.