What does all this mean? The bar has been raised by our increasingly educated consumer while the global pinch on resource availability is providing financial incentive for more responsible practices. The residential construction industry is evolving to be more energy efficient and environmentally conscious, reducing energy usage and minimizing waste. To survive, builders must gain the knowledge and skill set to catch up with this evolving demand. Consumers are looking for builders to: provide energy efficient homes; be aware of both newly available products, and responsible, creative ways to utilize our many local resources; understand how to minimize the impact of construction both locally and globally; comprehend and implement principles of building science to provide homes that are safe to the occupants and will stand the test of time in terms of generations, not decades.
Tools and certifications are now available to gauge the quality and efficiency of home construction. Energy Star, USGBC and LEED all provide prescriptive paths, like instruction manuals for construction professionals, to create an efficient home which meets or exceeds minimum requirements for various areas of the home building project. When used alongside a third party verifier, these “ prescriptive paths” can provide assurance to the Home Owner that all phases of construction– from site development through finishes — are being planned and administered in an energy and resource efficient manner. Seeking a Certified Green Professional (CGB) is a good first step toward working with a builder who is knowledgeable of the building science which directly affects occupant health and home efficiency.
Building science is the collection of scientific knowledge that focuses on the analysis and control of the physical phenomena affecting buildings. This includes the detailed analysis of building materials and building envelope systems. An understanding of these principles is necessary throughout the design and construction process to ensure longevity of a home, as well as safety of the occupants. The past 20 years has provided us with new materials and technologies, allowing us to build homes tighter and with a higher standard of efficiency. Unfortunately, when building science is not correctly applied, homes can deteriorate at an accelerated rate, and can create an unhealthy dwelling for its occupants.
Mindful Designs Incorporated (MDI) uses a number of tools that collectively help create a new or remodeled home specific to a site while maintaining an acute awareness of a client’s budget, aesthetic and design goals. They can also effectively work alongside a client’s architect allowing integration with hands-on insight into the design early on to ensure an efficient build process. Using in-house MDI craftsmen ensures attention to detail and quality on-site installation throughout the entire construction process. Having one party involved with site development, building design, energy and resource management, budgeting and carrying out the build process promotes a seamless efficient transition from concept to reality.
Follow-through with MDI runs past the completion of the building itself to include a set of custom home directions, suggested performance testing and rounds of final inspections to ensure any end of project items are attended to and the clients have a smooth transition to their new home. It is a goal of MDI to maintain friendly and long lasting relationships with their clients.
Living in the Flathead Valley residents are surrounded by raw nature in all directions; dazzling mountains, clean air, pristine waters and abundant wildlife. We have all chosen to be surrounded by this natural splendor for our own reasons, but of all the locations on the planet we are here among the cleanest air and water on earth. Every action and decision we make will affect both the local and global environment to some degree. Mindful Designs strives to offer an alternative that will allow people to lessen their effects on the environment and to provide our children’s generation with a better foundation for living in balance with our surroundings.