Buildings have a significant impact on the environment.
In the United States:
- Construction and demolition of buildings creates 136 million tons of waste a year.
- We build 1.6 million new homes annually and demolish 245,000 homes.
- The wood used to build one 2,000-square-foot home is equivalent to 1.5 acres of forest.
- Residential and commercial buildings use 36 percent of the total U.S. energy consumption.
- and 65 percent of the United States electrical consumption.
Hidden Villa’s primary design goal is to use components that consider the needs of future generations as well as the needs of the present. Building design can optimize energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Using standard sizes of materials during construction also reduces waste. We also tried to create systems that reduce dependency on outside resources. Some examples of these systems are:
- Solar panels.
- Graywater and rooftop water catchment systems.
- Water-efficient, low-maintenance landscaping.
Before choosing material for our sustainable building projects, we asked three questions:
- Will production and transportation of the materials harm the environment?
- How will the material perform while it is being used?
- Where will it end up when it is no longer useful as a building material?
Whenever feasible Hidden Villa uses building materials with low embodied energy:
- Salvaged or recycled building materials.
- Buy locally produced building materials to avoid costly transportation.
Whenever possible we…
- Use FSC certified wood.
- Use renewable energy sources or high-efficiency equipment.
- Minimize the use of solvent-based floor finishes, paints, adhesives, and pressure-treated lumber.
- Avoid the use of ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation to prevent off gassing.
Wolken Education Center
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