Frank Sproul, President
Upper Valley Builders, Inc.
Quality Commercial and Residential Construction
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There is currently a lot of media and industry focus on developing sustainable green building methods. We believe that affordable yet well-designed, well-built structures provide the best way to live in a responsible manner. Whatever your decision, we are committed to meeting your needs and working within your budget. Keep in mind the following when thinking about going green.
Sustainability
Sustainable building is a broad subject and includes not only the source of materials used but also how they are manufactured, transported and their ultimate disposal.
Materials
Wood remains one of the best and most renewable materials available. All forests in the US use sustainable forestry as do many other places in the world. Old, recycled wood can add to a building's character but it may come at a higher cost and may have a varied appearance.
Building Size
It will cost you more to build, fuel and maintain a larger home than a smaller one. The choice is yours.
Government Mandates
The government continues to mandate various energy efficiencies (insulation, windows, heating, lighting) which will add to the cost of the building.
Insulation - Building codes require a minimum level of R-values in the insulation used in new construction. The fact is, the better insulated your home is, the less you will spend on heating and cooling it. There are many insulation options out there but UVB uses one of the most cost-effective, highly efficient systems available.
Windows - Recent code changes require a certain level of efficiency in windows of new builds. UVB uses windows from manufacturers with a proven track record of performance, reliability and service.
Heating - In addition to a well insulated building and high performance windows and doors, a high efficiency heating system is important in maintaining comfort and keeping costs low. UVB's heating experts can provide you with what you need.
Lighting - A certain percentage of lights in all new builds have to be fluorescent. Fluorescent fixtures have a higher installation cost but use less electricity to run. Don't discount incandescent lighting yet, though, as there are also many efficient incandescent lights - and they are cheaper than flourescent to buy. Another lighting product we recommend highly are light tubes. They are not for everywhere in a building but are cheap to buy and are free to use.
Is It Cost Effective?
Usually, the initial cost of eco-friendly products is significantly higher. Depending on how long you own your home, it may or may not be cost effective. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Initial costs may be offset by government subsidies
There are currently tax breaks for some eco-friendly products
Some buyers will find green methods desirable, especially if they get tax breaks from them.
Ultimately, it depends on the product. Efficiency is often worth the upfront cost but there are numerous products available - not all of which live up to their expectations. If you are interested in a particular product, we can cost it out with you and help you decide whether it's financially viable and actually eco-friendly.
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