Archive for the ‘eco-friendly building materials’ category

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

September 1st, 2015

What is a Green Roof?

Green Roof - 7 layers of root barrier - Connaughton ConstructionA “green roof” is an extension of an existing roof on top of the concrete slab, including a high-quality waterproofing membrane, a root repellant system or root barrier, a drainage layer, filter cloth, lightweight growing medium and soil, irrigation system and plants.

How do Green Roofs Make for Healthy Cities?

Green Roofs have Economic Benefits

Green roofs and services create jobs for many people.  According to Green Roofs For Healthy Cities (GRHC)  the demand for green roof installations requires and therefore helps create a business market for manufacturers and suppliers of all the required physical components. That is, all the green roof layers, specialized garden nurseries, architects, landscapers, ecological design and engineering professionals, the labor and maintenance personnel.

Construction costs of green roofs vary from $10.00 to $25.00 per square foot. In Germany where they are more common, the costs of a green roof range from $8.00- $15.00 per square foot. The model green roof at Gund Hall at Harvard University cost $1.00 per square foot.

Green roofs can increase property values.

Green Roofs have Environmental Benefits

Green Roofs have cooling potential. Green roofs provide shade and remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration, reducing temperatures of the roof surface and the surrounding air. They help reduce the heat islands often found in urban areas.

Green roof absorb heat and act as insulators for buildings. This helps us use less energy for cooling and heating.

Green roofs are useful in achieving LEED certification for new and existing buildings.

Green roofs reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. By lowering air conditioning demand, green roofs decrease air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetation remove air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions through dry deposition and carbon sequestration and storage.

Green roofs improve human health and comfort. Green roofs, by reducing heat transfer through the building roof, can improve indoor comfort and lower heat stress associated with heat waves.

Acoustic insulation properties also exist with green roofs. Many green roofs have been placed near airports with great results in noise reduction.

Green roofs enhance stormwater management and water quality. Green roofs reduce and slow stormwater runoff in the urban environment; they also filter pollutants from rainfall.

Green roofs allow us to grow food locally, eliminating the need to be transported. From herbs such as mint, Lemon balm, edible pansies, thyme, lavender, chives and different kinds of basil are just a few of the many herbs that flourish in the custom-built beds. To vegetables, such as tomatoes, herbs, greens, berries, wheat grass, even some monster cabbage. Restaurants are turning to their own green roof gardens for self-producing fresh herbs and vegetables.

Where you can find Green roofs improving the quality of life in Boston?

  • Four seasons Hotel, Boston, MA

    Green_Roofs_Four_Seasons_Boston_Connaughton_Construction

    Green Roofs Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, MA – Connaughton Construction

  • Boston City Hall, Boston, MA
  • Graduate Residences at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Cambridge Center, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
  • Healing Garden at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • East Office Building at the World Trade Center in Boston, MA
  • Tufts University, Boston MA
  • Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA
Aside from being inconspicuous, low maintenance, and reliable storm water management systems, green roofs can add natural beauty and aesthetic relief to a wide variety of settings.

 


Find a Green Roof Professional in the Boston area by Contacting Connaughton Construction today! or Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John. There never was a better time to enjoy your outdoor space.


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Net Zero Energy Home

July 24th, 2015

Is there a Net Zero Energy Home in your future?

Net Zero Energy Home by Connaughton ConstructionAre you thinking about buying or building a new home? Would you consider buying a home that comes with zero energy bills and zero carbon emissions? A Net Zero Energy Home is so energy-efficient. The sun provides all the energy you will ever need each year. You could be pocketing thousands of dollars in energy savings, while you’re protecting the environment.

What is a Net Zero Energy Home?

A Net Zero Energy Home is a home that produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.

Is a Net Zero Energy Home more expensive?

A Net Zero Energy Home costs about 5-6% more when you utilize all the energy incentives that are available today. They are market comparable and you can get all the luxuries that you normally would expect in a conventional home  as well as having zero energy bills. There are tax incentives and rebates.
A Net Zero Energy Home appraise for more than a conventional home. You’ll want to use a green certified appraiser.
How much does it cost to be connected to the heat grid? There is a $10 a month cost to be connected to the energy grid. At the end of the month, your energy bill is zero. How’s that for those of us who struggle to pay our energy bills every month? A home owner with Net Zero Energy homes are producing more energy then they’re using so they have energy to give folks who are struggling with their winter heating bill. This is an opportunity to help others.

Aside from the Energy Savings What makes a Net Zero Energy Home so desirable?

When you build a Net Zero Energy Home  you integrate a lot of things into the shell and into the interior of the home. It’s well lit. It’s healthy living. It’s well ventilated with fresh air. And at the end of the year your energy bill is zero.
From designers and builders of Net Zero Energy Homes, they will tell you these homes are, from the outside, the same as many other homes. You’ll see the solar thermal collectors, the solar electric collectors on the roof. Once you get inside the home, the exterior walls are quite a bit thicker. The heating and cooling systems are a lot more efficient than your typical system of other homes. Many of the other parts and pieces; the appliances have been specifically chosen for these homes to lower the energy bill to zero as best possible.
To potential buyers of Net Zero Energy Homes. You are insulating yourself from the rise of energy costs. You are protecting your investment. The home will sell for more and it will sell faster on the market. Home owners of Net Zero Energy Homes state they love it because there are no drafts in the middle of winter. Fresh filtered air is circulated continuously. Best of all having zero carbon emissions is healthier for the planet and healthier for future generations.
Conventional homes consume close to 30% of the nation’s energy. That’s a lot of carbon emissions. A Net Zero Energy Home is so achievable. Why not? Why not do this for the environment and our grandchildren? Zero energy bills. Zero carbon emissions and a healthier home.

Zero Energy Homes Raise the Bar for Home Construction

Find a Net Zero Energy Home Builder in the Boston area by Contact Connaughton Construction about Net Zero Energy Homes today! or Call 781-899-1438, ext. 14 for John. There never was a better time for all of us to “think global and act local.”

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Ideas for Selecting Reclaimed wood flooring for your home or store.

September 8th, 2014

Reclaimed wood flooring enhances any  style home or store. Choose A Look You’ll Love. You can have reclaimed wood flooring in any room. Enhance your music room, living room, kitchen, dining room, hallway, stairway, entryway and sitting room. They’ve even found their way into the Hyatt; elevator, lobby, and dining room. You may not have known what you were walking on but I’m sure you’ve walked on reclaimed wood flooring in retail stores such as J Crew. They’ve also been used in pubs. A great place for a rustic look.

3 ideas for selecting reclaimed wood flooring for your home or store.

 3 Steps to Selecting Reclaimed Wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more ideas with Carlisle Reclaimed Wood Flooring.

Types of Reclaimed Wood Available

Berkshire Pine

Berkshire Pine Barn Siding - Raked - Dry Brushed

Berkshire Pine Barn Siding – Raked – Dry Brushed

Barn Siding as reclaimed wood can be found throughout New England as cladding on old barns. The preserved saw marks and fastener holes visible on this fiber make this species unique. Its raked finish shown is applied at the mill and is then dry brushed with white paint to highlight the original saw marks of the material.

Reclaimed Barn Siding will feature a random mix of naturally faded colors. Colors in grey or brown siding can range from dark to light gray or brown. Original Paint can range from saturated to very light faded color.

Hickory

Hickory is reclaimed wood from barn beams found in the midwest. Each Hickory plank is hand-selected for unique colors and features that can only be found in slow-growth wood that has been naturally aged. This material features wide variations in color, from nearly white to dark brown. There is a delicate balance of sound cracks, checking, wormholes and knots. It is the strongest North American commercial wood available.

New England Hemlock

New England Hemlock Reclaimed Wood Flooring from old barns and cabins

New England Hemlock – Bear Wood – Unfinished

New England Hemlock is reclaimed throughout the Northeast. It’s primarily in New England from old barns and cabins. It has a tendency to be very  grainy with a very pronounced knot structure. As the material weathers, the grain begins to lift; making it more vulnerable to the mill’s “Bear Wood” finishing process which further exposes the grain. Light checking exists in the fiber.

Oak

Oak is reclaimed from wood joists, rafters, granary boards, siding and floor boards in old barns and other wooden structures. Reclaimed Oak hardwood flooring is known for its strength, durability and resistance to wear. It is among our most popular flooring choices. It has warm earth tones, a tight knot structure, slight checking and varying grain patterns. Expect original saw marks, nail holes, sound cracks, checking and wormholes.

Discover how to create the perfect effect for your style.

For the lodge and farmhouse-style,  you might choose wide planks with worm holes and saw marks. This effect is very  popular. Unfinished wood goes well in the rustic lodge and farmhouse styles. Consider the New England hemlock shown above in the Types of Reclaimed Wood Available.

For more formal Colonial Revival homes or Victorian homes, antique woods with clear vertical grains and few character marks work well. The prefinished woods go well in the more formal looks.

For Contemporary spaces, a current trend is to whitewash antique oak. The characteristics of age, along with accessories, change the look.

Selecting Reclaimed wood flooring


Sign Up Here for The Builders Notebook Newsletter.

Do you have your own stairway design and need the hand of an experienced custom home builder?

Contact Connaughton Construction to discuss your luxury design project.

Set up your personal Design Consultation.

If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, please call John with Connaughton Construction at 781-899-1438 x 14 or  Ellen at x13.

More Inspiring articles

Top 10 Luxury Design Trends 2014

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Selecting Reclaimed Flooring for the Home or Store

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 1 of 2

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 2 of 2

Six Critical Decisions a Construction Manager Helps You Make

Benefits of Solar Panels

Caesarstone: Colors, Textures and Applications

 

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 1 of 2

August 7th, 2014

#1 Reclaimed wood flooring

What is Reclaimed Wood Flooring?

Reclaimed Wood FlooringReclaimed Wood Flooring is Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling. How? Because it is processed wood retrieved from its original application and reused. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses. Some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels. Reclaimed or antique lumber is used primarily for decoration and home building. For example as siding, architectural details, cabinetry, furniture and flooring.

Reclaimed lumber is popular for many reasons: the wood’s unique appearance, its contribution to green building, the history of the wood’s origins, and the wood’s physical characteristics such as strength, stability and durability. The increased strength of reclaimed wood is often attributed to the lack of air pollution that existed up until the 20th century as well as to the wood’s often having been harvested from virgin growth timber, which had hundreds of years to grow before human intervention.

Reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks than newly harvested lumber, and many companies claim that their products are more stable than newly cut wood because reclaimed wood has been exposed to changes in humidity for far longer and is therefore more stable. This stability allows it to be used with radiant heating systems. In some cases, the timbers from which the boards were cut had been naturally expanding and contracting for over a century in their previous installation. Radiant heat, with its low temperatures and even distribution affects the wood flooring the same way, but the impact is much less dramatic with antique wood than newly sawn wood because antique wood has already been through this cycle for years.

Next monthIdeas for selecting reclaimed wood flooring in your home or office.

#2 Caesarstone quartz countertops to create truly unique environments

Caesarstone, another Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling, is a beautifully engineered quartz stone which comprises approximately 93% natural quartz. Practical, durable, and attractive it has significant advantages over natural stone and other surfacing materials due to its superior strength and quality. Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces retain the cool, tactile qualities of natural stone while enabling the user with a durable work surface designed for ease and convenience.CaesarStone™ quartz countertops for your home

Quartz is ideal for virtually any interior work surface. The applications can extend to your kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, backsplashes, wall paneling, commercial interiors, furniture and flooring. 

Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces never need sealing and require minimal maintenance to keep them looking like new. The hard, non-penetrable surface makes cleaning simple and in most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent are all that are required to maintain its lustre.

Next Month … Choosing colors, textures and exploring applications of caesarstone quartz countertops.

#3 Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Paints; something’s in the air

How is Low VOC Paint an Eco Friendly Choice for Building and Remodeling? It helps reduce emissions that pollute, which helps improve air quality. paint-related products are one of the worst environmental offenders. They’re the second largest source of VOC emissions into the atmosphere after automobiles, responsible for roughly 11 billion pounds every year. Low VOC Paints - Eco Friendly choices for Building and Remodeling

Household paint contains up to 10,000 chemicals, of which 300 are known toxins and 150 have been linked to cancer. Some of the most harmful chemicals found in paint are VOCs. These chemicals aren’t something you want to spray on your body or potentially even keep inside your house.

VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea. Some VOCs have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.

As paint dries, the harmful VOCs release into the air at high levels. Indoor VOC levels are routinely 10 times higher than outdoor levels, and up to 1,000 times higher immediately after painting. Although VOC levels are highest during and soon after painting, they continue seeping out for several years. In fact, only 50 percent of the VOCs may be released in the first year.

They are most well-known for the harm they can cause indoors, where they can be introduced via paint, carpets, furnishings, and cleaning agents.

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 1 of 2

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 2 of 2


Sign Up Here for The Builders Notebook Newsletter.

Do you have your own stairway design and need the hand of an experienced custom home builder?

Contact Connaughton Construction to discuss your luxury design project.

Set up your personal Design Consultation.

If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, please call John with Connaughton Construction at 781-899-1438 x 14 or  Ellen at x13.

More Inspiring articles

Top 10 Luxury Design Trends 2014

Connaughton Construction Featured in New England Home

Selecting Reclaimed Flooring for the Home or Store

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 1 of 2

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 2 of 2

Six Critical Decisions a Construction Manager Helps You Make

Benefits of Solar Panels

Caesarstone: Colors, Textures and Applications

5 Eco-Friendly Choices when Building and Remodeling Part 2 of 2

August 1st, 2014

#4 Icynene Spray Foam Insulation

Discover how Icynene Insulation is an eco-friendly choice when building and remodeling

Icynene insulation is aicynene spray foam insulation. Eco-friendly choices when building and remodeling spray foam insulation for residential and commercial buildings. This material both insulates and air seals in one step. Sealing air gaps keeps moisture out preventing mold issues. It can be used in vented attics, unvented attics, internal walls, external walls, crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings, bonus rooms, and basements. Icynene spray foam insulation can adhere to most substrates, including steel, wood, concrete, and masonry.

ICYNENE spray foam insulation helps create healthier, more energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings. Icynene spray foam insulation is effective in any climate to benefit homeowners in energy efficiency, noise reduction, moisture control and improved indoor air quality.

Have any questions? Speak to a licensed Icynene contractor for how Icynene can be applied within your project. There are residential codes associated with Spray Foam Insulation. Connaughton Construction knows the most recent building codes and has the most recent information to share with you.  Icynene Spray Foam Insulation, another one of the eco-friendly choices when building and remodeling. A green building product for today’s home.

In Massachusetts, NSTAR and Columbia Gas give rebates for Icynene spray foam insulation for air duct sealing, attic ceiling insulation, floor insulation, foundation insulation and more. Call Connaughton Construction with more questions. They have the details for you.

#5 Solar Panels

Solar Panels provide energy savings, lower electric bills, increase home values, have environmental benefits. Leasing options are now available with no initial cost. Tax credits are available when you purchase the panels. Lock in 20 year rates. Another eco-friendly choice when building and remodeling.

Environmental benefits of Solar Panels

Renewable Energy is Great for the Planet

Converting to solar eSolar Panels - Eco-friendly choices when building and remodelingnergy is the biggest personal change you can make to fight global warming. Utility companies supply over 70% of electricity in the U.S. by burning fossil fuels—the leading cause of climate change. Generating electric power causes over a third of all green house gas emissions in the United States (source: Environmental Protection Agency). Reducing the electricity we draw from the grid means reducing carbon emissions. That means cleaner air, cleaner water and cleaner soil for your family, community, for generations to come.

Future Article – Benefits of Solar Panels 

Part 1 of 2 Reclaimed wood flooring, Caesarstone quartz countertops, Low VOC Paints


Sign Up Here for The Builders Notebook Newsletter.

Do you have your own stairway design and need the hand of an experienced custom home builder?

Contact Connaughton Construction to discuss your luxury design project.

Set up your personal Design Consultation.

If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, please call John with Connaughton Construction at 781-899-1438 x 14 or  Ellen at x13.

More Inspiring articles

Top 10 Luxury Design Trends 2014

Connaughton Construction Featured in New England Home

Selecting Reclaimed Flooring for the Home or Store

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 1 of 2

5 Eco Friendly Choices for Building and Remodeling Part 2 of 2

Six Critical Decisions a Construction Manager Helps You Make

Benefits of Solar Panels

Caesarstone: Colors, Textures and Applications

 

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