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  • Writer's pictureKeith Groninger

Building Science - A Sustainable and Green Construction Lesson

Groninger Custom Homes builds green and sustainable custom homes in Winter Park, Orlando and Central Florida.

Building Science is the study of buildings and construction techniques as they apply to the performance and sustainability of the structure. Many of the products and techniques associated with green construction are considered good building science.

The housing construction industry ranks among the worst in research and development. The independent nature of small builders combined with market pressures, have previously put the science of building at a low priority level. Rising energy costs and interest in green construction, have fueled the interest to learn a little more. 

Additionally, it's apparent that many consumers are demanding higher quality and performance from their builders. Recognized performance standards and third-party inspections are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Assurance that the structure and its systems are sustainable and performing correctly, has only been recently offered within the industry. Prior to recent awareness, there was no means for the consumer to really know what they were purchasing.

Florida Building Science

It can be argued that Central-Florida may not have ever developed without Disney and the invention of air-conditioning. The hot, humid climate makes life without AC nearly unbearable. Our unique environment creates demands on buildings that are unlike anywhere else in the country. Actually, some requirements within the national building code are incorrect as they apply to homes built in Florida.

Until the recent interest in “Green”, residential construction materials and methods have advanced little since the advent of air-conditioning and insulation. Roof trusses, plywood and PVC piping are some of the only significant changes prior to green awareness. In the last decade we’ve seen advances in building science, but not without some potential negative consequences.

Unknown to many consumers and even some building professionals, there are common construction techniques that can damage the structure and even create an unhealthy environment for its occupants. Climate conditions that are unique to Florida necessitate a strong understanding of building performance and the role that each material plays in the overall building system. Building science has improved because of the realization that all the components must function together as an integrated building system design.

Some science definitions and a little history lesson may provide an understanding of why a complete building system design is necessary.

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Little is more meaningful and personal than a home, and the experience of designing and building your own home should be rewarding and enjoyable. Choosing a builder is difficult. The process of designing and building a home involves numerous decisions about components, systems and services selected from criteria that includes price, quality, appearance and performance. How can you possibly understand everything unless the builder is willing to share all of the information?   

Allow us to introduce you to The GCH Way of building your next home. Please let us know if you have any questions. Keith Groninger

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