Building Responsibly

Green builder green architect

Jenkins Custom Homes is actively committed to designing and building green homes, which promote the health and well-being of our natural environment. As a result, environmental, economic and social benefits are obtained. Sustainability is important because all the choices we pursue and all the actions that we make today will affect everything in the future.

What is green building?

The buildings in which we live, work, and play protect us from nature’s extremes, yet they also affect our health and environment in countless ways. As the benefits of green building become more apparent, many green building practices are gaining momentum.

Green, or sustainable, building is the practice of creating and using healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition.

Why choose a green builder?

In the United States, buildings account for:

  • 39 percent of total energy use
  • 12 percent of the total water consumption
  • 68 percent of total electricity consumption
  • 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2012, December 19). Why Build Green?

The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of designing and building project.

Learn about our true Design Build process.

Environmental benefits

  • Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce waste streams
  • Conserve and restore natural resources

Economic benefits

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Create, expand, and shape markets for green product and services
  • Improve occupant productivity
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Social benefits

  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Heighten aesthetic qualities
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Improve overall quality of life

What makes a home green?

The City of Austin created the nation’s first green builder program in 1990. Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) is now the nation’s most successful sustainable building program.

In order for a home to be labeled “green”, Austin Energy Green Building mandates that it must address several concerns related to the environmental impacts of the building industry and of the residential sector of the U.S. economy. These concerns can usually be divided into five environmental components:

  • ENERGY
  • WATER
  • MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS
  • HEALTH AND SAFETY
  • COMMUNITY

Austin Energy Green Building, June, 2014.

Component 1: Energy

Green builder benefit: energy efficiency

Energy effects all facets of home design, construction, and operation, from drawing the initial plans to installing light bulbs and operating appliances. Energy use over the lifespan of a building may be the single most important environmental and economic issue to address in a home. Excessive fossil-fuel energy that is used to power our homes results in significant environmental impacts on a local as well as global scale, and can unnecessarily increases the home’s annual operating and maintenance costs.

Jenkins Custom Homes utilizes a number of methods to ensure energy efficiency including:

  • Zipwall dust barrier system (pictured above)
  • Design techniques, such as placing the home on its site to best respond to climatic conditions, sun orientation and site characteristics
  • Deep overhangs on west facing windows
  • Proper sizing and placement of low E double pane glass windows
  • “Cool roof” radiant barrier decking
  • Second stage polyseal around wall switches, electrical outlets and light fixtures
  • Spray-foam or blown-in-blanket system insulation
  • LED lights, which use significantly less energy than a standard light bulb and last much longer
  • Advanced home automation systems that integrate with your lifestyle to help conserve energy

Component 2: Water

Green builder benefit: water conservation

Water use in Central Texas has dramatically increased with the rapid growth of the area’s population. Water use has reached near capacity levels during several summers over the past decade. In addition, water quality issues have entered the limelight as development moves to the outskirts of towns into environmentally sensitive areas. Competing uses for water – domestic, industrial, agricultural, and recreational – will further aggravate the situation in the near future.

Jenkins Custom Homes promotes water conservation by using:

  • Climate-approach landscaping utilizing native species for more efficient irrigation (pictured above)
  • Water wells where available
  • High-performing, low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Rainwater harvesting systems
  • Rainwater gardens

Component 3: Materials and products

Green builder benefit: Locally sourced limestone

In Central Texas, there is an abundant supply of locally produced building materials and products. Stone such as granite and limestone are durable, no-maintenance building materials. Local wood such as cedar/juniper, often cleared from property prior to development, is a good choice for casing, trim and cabinetry. Local hardwoods, locally milled, like pecan and mesquite, make easily maintained, durable flooring materials. In addition, composite recycled wood/plastic decking and trim products are manufactured in the region.

Jenkins Custom Homes uses green materials and products that have a high measure of the following attributes:

  • Locally sourced and/or produced (locally sourced limestone pictured above)
  • Reused or salvaged (similar to the reclaimed 100-year-old wood used in the photo above)
  • Recycled-content and recyclable
  • Resource-efficient during production and/or installation
  • Rapidly renewable
  • Low-embodied-energy
  • Durable, low-maintenance
  • Low in toxins
  • Biodegradable

Component 4: Health and safety

Green builder benefit: Health and safety

Health concerns have increased in prominence as homes have become tighter and more energy-efficient. In addition, modern building materials and products are typically highly processed and may contain chemical compounds that are irritants to some people when used in indoor conditions. Eliminating or reducing the source of indoor pollutants and contaminants is the best strategy to successfully build a healthy home.

Jenkins Custom Homes is committed to building healthy homes. Use of the following products and systems help to achieve that goal:

  • Zero VOC interior latex paint (pictured above)
  • Reverse osmosis provides toxin-free water
  • No-added-formaldehyde cabinets and insulation
  • Installation of exhaust fans and outside air intake
  • Mechanical ventilation and dehumidification
  • 4″ HEPA air filters
  • Ensure cleanliness during construction and promoting dust-free areas behind the walls
  • Toxin-free chemicals used on surfaces that might retain and release those toxins into the home later
  • Advanced technology used to monitor and control the quality of the home’s systems
  • Installation of physical termite barriers
  • Proper landscaping

Learn about the Healthy Homes Standard.

Component 5: Community

Green builder benefit: Promote community

Green building measures under this topic include location of the home and design features. Universal design can potentially extend the useful life of a home for its occupants as they grow older or become infirm, or simply make a home more livable for anyone who may experience temporary mobility problems from a sports injury or accident.

Jenkins Custom Homes promotes community by:

  • Creating both indoor and outdoor living spaces geared towards entertainment (pictured above)
  • Utilizing universal design
  • Building guest casitas, which promote extended family living and a communal lifestyle

Getting started

Our greatest accomplishment is building something beautiful, functional and sustainable together with you. The first step is to schedule an appointment to visit with us at our Luxury Home Idea Center. After that, the interactive Lifestyle Analysis interview with our lead architect kicks it off. In less than a month, you will have a complete Feasibility Study including a design proposal and guaranteed cost estimate. At this point, we hope we have gained your confidence. The next step is moving into full-blow design and development. Once plans are complete and permits are secured, we break ground. Once the home is complete and you move-in, our two-year warranty will keep you covered long after the trades go home. Our hope is that this will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. But don’t just take it from us, see what our past clients have to say.

To begin your experience, contact us online or call 512-402-9222.

“We interviewed I don’t know how many builders before we chose Jenkins…”

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