A Green Builder’s Perspective

Marla Esser Cloos (aka The Green Home Coach) is the founder and co-host of Green Gab, a weekly podcast where she and co-host Tony Pratte talk all things green. She is also a NAHB Master Certified Green Professional, LEED AP, and works with individual consumers, homeowners, builders, remodelers, realtors and just about anyone that works with a home in some way.

In this episode we are gabbing with our special guest Andy Ellis of Half Moon Construction in New York to get his perspective as a green builder. Andy was one of the 4 finalists for young green professional of the year. Today he tells us about his experience going green and doing things the right way. Andy explains how he’s helping his customers get what they want, plus educate them on the things they don’t know.

Andy’s Green Builder History

When Andy graduated from college he thought he was going to be an architect or civil engineer because he had always loved home building. Then he realized he wanted to own his own business. He went to business school, graduated and then started working as a subcontractor for a small home builder. After a life changing event happened, he realized that it’s very important to do the right thing, and do the thing right. In his case, build it correctly and built it to last a long time. He explains how he learned a lot by just listening to his customers. Through listening to his clients with experienced ears, he can help identify and prioritize the client’s wants and needs for the home while helping them understand the importance of codes including how they are to protect the builder and homeowner.

What is Logix ICF?

It is possible to create a house, and not a horribly expensive one, that produces more energy than it uses thus the house does not create high utility bills. Andy and the Half Moon Construction are a 100% logix ICF builder.

ICF is an acronym for Insulated Concrete Forms. The basic concept of this is a building block that has foam on each side and concrete in the inside. This construction brings resilience, sustainability, and comfort with everything remaining consistent. The building of these houses doesn’t cost more; the resources are just allocated differently making it a sustainable home. This form of insulation works for both summer and winter climates since it is a better grade of ICF with graphite in it. When it’s hot and the sun is shining on the house it helps send the heat away from the home. In the winter time, when the heat is in the house it helps the heat stay in the home.

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Learning about R-Value

R-Value is the resistance to the outside temperature. This, quite basically, is how much it can send away the cold or the heat over a period of time. EPS foam is a type of foam that is non-toxic and does not give off any dangerous gases or chemicals over time. EPS foam does not degrade more than 5% of its R-Value and it has a resistant nature to the climate change around it.

ICF make it easier, especially in New York, for sustainable home designs. With ICF, a green builder can also construct faster due the structural components, built-in insulation, wall sheeting and great air barrier. These elements allow them to control what goes inside and outside the house.

If you’re interested in environmental education, every week on iTunes and on The Green Gab Podcast, we gab and share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters – to you, your family and friends and your community.

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