Green Building Asheville Marshall

green building optionsMosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s owner Michael Figura interviews Jim Samsel of Samsel Architects and Jody Guokas of JAG and Associates Construction on why they design and build green homes.

If you are thinking about a new home, there are aspects beyond location, style and finishes to consider. Comfort, health and ease of maintenance are all important factors that have a big impact on how much you enjoy your building options Green building helps to ensure that you’ll have those attributes in your home.

“Green building is more than energy efficiency. A green home is really just a better built home, ” says Jim Samsel of Samsel Architects. According to Samsel, smart building is synonymous with green building. “That is why a large majority of our clients incorporate green building into their homes.”

greenbuilding optionsJody Guokas, owner of JAG Construction, has built more than 70 green homes in Asheville since 2005. According to Guokas, “green building starts with good site selection, proper house placement and thoughtful design.” Both Samsel and Guokas agree on this, emphasizing that well-sited homes take advantage of views and also are situated to have proper solar access and excellent cross ventilation.

“Before air conditioning, prevailing breezes, thoughtful shading and careful porch placement were paramount considerations in designing a home, ” said Samsel. Jody Guokas notes that, “there is something elegant to building with nature in mind. The timeless buildings that we cherish in our culture have the quality of being in harmony with nature. They take advantage of the prevailing winds to get good air flow and they maximize how the sun passes through the sky to get as much natural light as possible.” Looking at Samsel’s and Guokas’ buildings, you’ll see that their homes have carefully placed and ample windows for more natural light and have operable windows in key locations for good cross ventilation.

A cornerstone of green building is having an efficient thermal envelope, a term that means not having holes where air and moisture move through gaps in the walls. “One of the things that shocked me when I first started construction was to learn that the average home has enough small gaps in the building envelope to equal having a door wide open all the time, ” said Guokas. “Having unwanted air flow in the building creates hot and cold spots, elevated moisture levels in the summer, and can lead to mold growth in the walls over time.”

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