VIDEOS: Job Site Visits
GREEN JOB SITES AROUND THE COUNTRY
Real people building green homes all over the place
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Produced by Rob Wotzak
Green Job sites look a lot like regular job sites because they are. There may be a few differences, like recycling piles and less waste in the dumpster, but for the most part it's just regular folks building high performance homes for more regular folks. The main differences happen at the drawing board where integrated designBuilding design in which different components of design, such as the building envelope, window placement and glazings, and mechanical systems are considered together. High-performance buildings and renovations can be created cost-effectively using integrated design, since higher costs one place can often be paid for through savings elsewhere, for example by improving the performance of the building envelope, the heating and cooling systems can be downsized, or even eliminated. teams engineer the best solutions to problems together.
An integrated approach to construction
What's harder to see on a green job site is the integrated approach to the processes and systems that make green homes energy efficient, comfortable, and healthy to live in. Unlike a more conventional approach, green building relies on teamwork from every subcontractor on the site. Subs should understand that anything they do during construction has the potential to affect the work of another, as well as the overall success of the project. No one can work in a vacuum. When everyone has a stake in the outcome, it's much more likely to result in a high-quality home that meets the expectations of its designers.
Remodeling projects present their own job-site challenges
A certain amount of demolition always precedes new construction. Controlling dust and being aware of potential hazards in old building materials are important for the safety of homeowners as well as workers on the site.
Outside, plants need protection, too. Trees and shrubs are especially valuable, not only for their aesthetic qualities but for their role in shading the house from sun and wind. They're expensive to replace.