Energy Efficient Windows For Your New Home Construction

Of particular importance in your effort to build an environmentally-friendly home is the windows that you will choose. Energy efficient windows for your new home construction can make your heating bills lower in the winter and your cooling bills easier to handle in the summer. An energy efficient window needs to be at two panes thick, have a low-E (emitting) glass coating, an airtight frame, and be rated as energy-efficient by the Energy Star program. Let’s look at each of these elements of the energy efficient window in greater detail.

Frames

When considering your window frames, the material of the frame is very crucial the energy efficiency of the window itself. Opting for a vinyl or fiberglass frame ensures maximum efficiency and both of these materials do a great job of reducing the heat transfer and improving the insulation factor of the home and the home’s envelope. The decision to go with vinyl or fiberglass is usually an aesthetic one for most homeowners, although cost of the window frame itself certainly plays a role in that decision. Look for window frames in vinyl and fiberglass that have been specifically engineered and designed to perform optimally, such as those that have chambers within the frame that enhance their strength, provide additional insulation and reduce noise

Multiple Panes

Having dual pane or multiple pane windows is important when installing windows that are energy efficient. Dual pane windows have a space between the two panes of glass that is filled with either gas (look for those gases like argon or krypton for their non-toxicity) or air. This provides more insulation than a single pan window. If you can afford it, go for Energy Star rated windows that have three or even more panes for the highest level of energy savings. Look for windows that feature spacers between the panes that allow for the correct distance of panes in order to allow for airflow within the pane. These warm edge spacers can be made of fiberglass, vinyl, foam or steel and will have the added benefit of reducing or preventing condensation between panes. Your windows should also feature low-E coating that will block out the infrared light from the sun that makes your home hotter in the summer and that can fade your flooring, carpeting, or furniture over time.

Financial Incentives for High Efficiency Windows

Local, state and federal governments have recently announced incentives for homeowners who install energy-efficient upgrades in their homes. These incentives include tax breaks and tax rebates. Talk to your installer or your contractor to find out if the windows that you choose qualify for these tax incentives and be sure to file for them in a timely manner. You can get up to $200 under some programs for each window that you install, either as a tax deduction or a credit on your taxes. That makes paying for your high efficiency windows easier, and provides you with a bit of money to spend on other eco-friendly upgrades.… READ MORE

Soil excavation and carrying capacity

Today is a big excavation. You have a row of excavators. Your house plans still look like new from the printer. You have risked the excavation area. You are ready to go.

Before you sink the shovel to the ground, there are a few things you should know. Ground excavation and carrying capacity are the most important components of the construction process for several different reasons which I will discuss in this article.

Removing all organic material

When digging the foundation of a building, all organic material must be removed. Ingredients such as grass, plants, soil, and top roots. In some cases, you may have to dig deeper than expected to remove all organic material. In this case, you may be faced with expensive difficulties because you have to import granular fillers.

No standing water in every excavation

The next component that plays an important role in water. There should be no standing water in every excavation. If there is water, the source needs to be investigated to determine what precautions need to be taken to remove or eliminate water. The underground water surface also plays an important role in the structural integrity of buildings. Most of the Building Code outlines the important steps to be taken when the foundation is within a certain distance from the water level.

The right soil carrying capacity

Once organic has been removed, soil that has the right soil carrying capacity must be present. Different soils have different carrying capacities. For example, when dry clay has a higher bearing compared to other types of soil, compared to sand which is much lower. The minimum carrying capacity of land determined by most Building Codes is 75 Kpa. For example, sand is at a minimum requirement with a carrying capacity of 75 Kpa.

Another thing to remember is that this land must be original and not disturbed. In case the material must be imported, the material must be compacted properly so that it meets the minimum carrying capacity of the soil. Recall that most City Governments need land engineers to certify compaction.

Some additional precautions

If you are digging at a depth of more than 6 feet, there are some additional precautions that need to be taken. This is related to work and security measures. There are some acceptable and unacceptable excavations.

There are four main types of soil namely clay, silt, sand, and grains. Clay and mud look similar when dry. When mud becomes saturated, it turns into soft and fast sand which differs from clay. Sand is a type of soil with the lowest soil carrying capacity. Granular is slightly higher. For most residential applications and for water drainage purposes, granular material is my preferred type of soil because it offers a fairly good carrying capacity but does not retain water, thereby eliminating the problem of water penetration.

Conclusion

Remember, the house you build is only as good as the land being built. Take all necessary precautions to ensure you build on suitable land, … READ MORE