Most of us are aware of the need to minimize fossil-fuel use, and limit the emission of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere. The construction industry produces an enormous amount of carbon emissions from the synthetic building materials produced by highly-industrialized processes, and the energy consumed in the construction of the built environment. There is a growing need to transition to methods of building, and construction materials, that are responsible for less carbon emissions in their manufacture and use.
Using a natural material when constructing new buildings or restoring old ones is 'low impact' in terms of eliminating or minimizing any lasting effects on the world in which we live. There is a growing interest in using natural materials and techniques that are based on old technologies, but tailored to meet future constructions needs. Unlike synthetic building materials, natural materials contain no harmful chemicals and can be vapor permeable; making it increasingly evident that these materials can not only maintain the structural fabric of the building, but also help keep its occupants in good health.
What are these natural building materials?
Hempcrete is a natural material comprised of chopped stalk of the hemp plant (shiv) mixed with a lime-based binder. It can provide a natural, healthy, sustainable, and low-embodied-energy building that creates a negative carbon footprint.
Hempcrete is not used as a structural element, but can be used for walls, wall insulation, flooring, roofing, and more. It is water-proof, fire-retardant, and rot-proof when used above ground, and is 100% recyclable. All loads must be carried by internal framing - wood stud framing is most common.
Hempcrete regulates the temperature and humidity of a building, making it an ideal building material for all types of climates, and potentially eliminating the need for heating and cooling systems. Hempcrete has been installed at temperatures that fall below freezing with no adverse effects, but working with hempcrete above 40 F is recommend.
Adobe is one of the oldest and most versatile natural building materials still in use today. It is made from primarily clay, sand and dirt. Other organic materials such as straw and dung can be added to improve the insulation properties of the structure. Typically, the mixture is formed into blocks, left to dry, then stacked like bricks to form a structure.
Adobe is a good thermal mass material, but does not insulate very well. Walls made of adobe need some means of providing insulation to maintain comfort in the building. Sometimes this is accomplished by creating a double wall, with an air space, or some other insulation in between.
Adobe is recommended as a building material in mostly warm and dry climates, but can be used colder climates with careful construction techniques. The constant freezing and thawing affiliated with colder climates can cause the bricks to crumble as they shrink and swell with the weather.
Rammed earth buildings start as form work - plywood structure that established the outline of a wall. A mixture of soils is then packed tightly between the forms by hand or machine. Once the soil is in place, the forms are removed, and a solid, stable wall remains. It is important that the soil mixture does not have too much clay or the finished wall will shrink and crack.
When completed, rammed earth walls can be left just as they are, or they can be finished with plasters, paints or siding. If left unfinished, the earth provides a natural, breathable wall, in comparison to artificial sidings with chemicals.
In desert climates the thermal mass of the walls can provide the sole means of heating and cooling, but in other climates, additional insulation or energy sources may be needed.
Straw bales were first used in construction over 100 years ago by homesteaders in the Midwest who had limited building materials. Today, some structures over 75 years old are still inhabited. Straw bales are a low-embodied-enery, natural building material made from an agricultural waste product. Straw is used in landscaping and animal bedding, but because of the large quantities produced, grain farmers typically burn much of their stalk waste. Burning this waste releases CO2 into the atmosphere creating pollution and poor visibility. Grain farmers are searching for more environmentally sound way to discard their stalk waste - straw bale structures are a great alternative.
The two basic types of straw bale construction are load-bearing and non-load-bearing. Load-bearing structures support the weight of the roof on the bales themselves without any frame work, and are limited to small one story buildings. Non-load-bearing structures typically use post and beam framing with straw bales filling in between. Buildings using the non-load-bearing method can be multiple stories if need be.
Straw Bale construction creates thick walls with good insulating properties, resulting in highly energy efficient buildings. The structures are also fire resistant due to the tightly compacted bales that deprive the flames of oxygen, and stucco/plaster finishes used specifically as fire-proofing.
Straw bale structures are ideal in mostly dry climes, acceptable in wet climates, but difficult to deal with in humid climates.
"A bale house can stay dry from rain and still be saturated with moisture inside the plaster due to the acclimation of the bales to the area’s relative humidity. Everything eventually settles on a moisture content that is in direct relation to the relative humidity of its surroundings." - StrawBale.com
Hempcrete, adobe, rammed earth, and straw bale buildings are the four natural material structures that I find the most viable and interesting. There are numerous other natural materials that are used in building applications all over the world.
Here are a few, check em' out:
"TO-MAY-TO, TO-MAH-TO" -
An expression meaning "unimportant differences" . . .
but really . . .
which one is it?
Why does it matter?
Improper pronunciation can lead to negative impressions, and ineffective communication. Whether in a professional setting or casual outing, pronouncing a word incorrectly can become the source of unforeseen embarrassment or misunderstanding.
You MIGHT be saying it wrong.
Certain vocabulary used in architecture and design can be tricky to pronounce. Many of these words are derived from Latin, French, German, and Italian, making them difficult to articulate in other dialects.
Take a look at these commonly mispronounced words used in the industry, along with their meaning and approximate phonetic pronunciation.
Raised section of a roof with small windows.
A kind of hardwood
A covered entrance that allows vehicles to pass through.
A real-estate agent with the National Association of Realtors.
Wood paneling on the lower part of a wall.
An apartment or condo that is not a primary residence.
A wardrobe or movable cabinet
A reclining chair with a lengthened seat
An artistic imitation of wood
A piece of furniture with open shelves for displaying ornaments.
Chinese philosophy on environmental organization.
Now, go impress the world with your impeccable pronunciation of architectural and design vocabulary.
I work with all of Fasse bldgs.' clients on all sorts of interior finishes...from plumbing fixtures to tile, paint colors, lighting, countertops, appliances, cabinetry/vanities, and of course flooring. The debate between hardwood and pre-finished engineered flooring seems to be a big one with a lot of clients, so I wanted to take some time to explain the differences between the different types of flooring, as well as pros and cons of each.
First, let me clarify....engineered floors are NOT the same as laminate floors.
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. Laminate floors have come a long way, and I have helped countless homeowners pick out many lovely laminate options that looked beautiful installed. Newer homes that have a lower price point, or remodelers sticking to a budget that still want the natural look of wood often use laminate.
Unlike laminate floors, engineered and hardwood floors are both made from genuine wood. Now let's differentiate between hardwood flooring vs. engineered...
Engineered wood is real wood flooring that’s built in layers and bonded together. The top hardwood layer shows all the natural characteristics and beauty of the selected wood species, just as you would see with any genuine wood floor. Below the surface layer are multiple layers of high density fiberboard (HDF) that create a board with greater strength and stability than a solid wood board.
Solid hardwood is manufactured from a single piece of wood, the most common thickness of a solid hardwood plank is ¾”. The most widely used profile is tongue-and-groove (T&G). Hardwood floors are sanded, stained, and finished on site.
Engineered hardwood is more suitable in high moisture areas or in areas with frequent temperature changes than solid hardwood due to its “multiple-ply plank” construction. Engineered hardwood is also constructed to be more dimensionally stable through multi-ply design. This allows greater resistance to temperature changes. Solid hardwood is believed to add some structural strength to the building in which it is installed. The degree to which this is true depends upon the species. On the other hand, solid hardwood is prone to expansion, warping, and cupping to a significant degree if exposed to temperature changes.
Engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid wood. Solid hardwood is unsuitable for applications at any location with increased moisture or high temperatures. These could be areas which are not environmentally controlled, damp areas such as below-grade installations, and over radiant heating systems.
It is also often easier to get a more uniform color with engineered flooring, vs. hardwood floors which are sanded, stained and finished on site. Solid hardwood’s uniformity definitely tends to vary depending on grade. Some grades allow for multiple knots, for example. Also when stains are involved, their tends to be a wide range of color/character due to the natural state of the hardwood product.
Engineered hardwood does not warp or cup during climatic changes, and is more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid flooring. Engineered floors tend to be a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, damp basements, and locations in wetter climates, or areas like our region, which have a very high humidity level. Solid hardwood generally expands and contracts a lot more than engineered wood during climatic changes, especially during extremes in heat, cold, precipitation, and high humidity. In our area of eastern NC where the humidity levels tend to be pretty high, engineered wood can often be a better option, depending on the location and the amount of maintenance you want to take on.
Choosing engineered flooring considered more environmentally friendly than traditional hardwood for a few reasons. Veneer is sliced rather than cut with a saw. This process produces no sawdust, which means that all of the tree's wood can be used. The sawdust produced making hardwood boards is wasted wood, and can often add up to a significant amount. Also, hardwood trees grow slower than the trees used to make engineered flooring cores. Because more surface area is produced making veneer, installing traditional hardwood uses many times the amount of slow growing tree. This makes the replenishing time much longer.
BUDGET & MAINTENANCE
As we explained above, engineered flooring will not swell or warp, making it very low maintenance. In addition to reducing upkeep costs, engineered flooring is less expensive from the start. This becomes even more true as the type of wood gets more exotic. Rare hardwood is very expensive. Since engineered hardwood flooring requires only a thin slice of the desired wood, the cost decreases dramatically. Hardwood floors are also difficult, timely, and expensive to install, which raises the associated labor + materials costs.
Some homeowners think that engineered flooring is not as good as solid flooring because they are under the impression that it's cheaply made, or made of synthetic wood. Although engineered hardwood flooring is not made of solid hardwood, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a genuine hardwood floor with all the warmth, beauty, and lifetime value it brings to a home. Do keep in mind, as with all consumer products, manufacturers do make products at all levels of quality, each to fit a certain price point within the market.
This is also true with engineered flooring options, therefore you should consider the quality and thickness of engineered options. The cheaper engineered floors are usually 3/8 IN. thick, have a paper thin wear layer and they are usually made overseas (China). At the other end of the price point spectrum, you will find very high end engineered floors that have an incredibly thick real wood wear layer that can, later on if ever needed, be sanded and refinished.
Because the look and feel of solid and engineered hardwood are very similar, the decision on which one to purchase and install should not be a matter personal preference, but rather a question of budget, climatic factors and other practical considerations. Both types offer a beautiful finish and will increase the value of your home—as long as they are selected carefully, installed correctly, and maintained properly over the duration of your ownership.
Happy Floor Hunting!
Last week, members of the Fasse bldgs. team (myself included) attended Design & Construction Week (DCW) in Las Vegas, which was the co-location of the leading Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) as well as the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS). This year, DCW also included two partner events – the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) and The International Surface Event (TISE). This mega-event brought together more than 110,000 builders, general contractors, remodelers, designers, flooring professionals, as well as product specifiers from around the globe. With over 4 halls the size of large airplane terminals FULL of exhibits and dynamic events on and off the show floor, KBIS & IBS were truly an explosion for the senses!
KBIS, in conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is an inspiring, interactive platform that showcases the latest industry products and trends. KBIS is considered the voice of the kitchen and bath industry, and has been for 50 years. Leading brands demonstrated design, technology and sustainability in kitchen and bath, thus impacting living spaces around the world.
KBIS 2016 hosted over 500 leading brands in the kitchen and bath industry, including 40 NEW companies. This gave the Fasse bldgs. design team opportunities to source the latest industry designs, products and home technology. We met directly with current suppliers, allowing them to showcase their newest lines, designs, and innovations. We were also privy to several product launches showcased at the event, and able to forge new relationships with several suppliers representing an array of product lines, design trends, and home technologies that Fasse bldgs. will be able to integrate into our homes.
Nothing compares to seeing, touching, and feeling all the latest and greatest!
KBIS also presented learning opportunities and presentations from fellow colleagues in the kitchen and bath industry, offering endless networking opportunities throughout the three day event.
'Discover the Building Universe' was the theme to the NAHB’s International Builders' Show (IBS), and that's exactly what attendees took away from this three-day event. From the time the show opened, until the doors closed, building industry professionals discovered an expansive universe of products and innovative concepts designed to enhance their businesses moving forward.
We had an amazing experience at both shows, and barely scratching the surface of all Vegas has to offer. A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Longley Supply for inviting us on this amazing trip!
TecHomeX is the first-of-its-kind expo, gathering the entire ecosystem of players to deliver today’s TecHome.
Join us as we drive the evolution of the connected home to bring smarter, greener, more convenient, more efficient, more secure and more entertaining homes to the US market.
Our very own Pam Fasse was invited to present at this year's TecHome X Expo in Orlando in March. According to the event website, "TecHome selected industry leaders who are passionate about moving the home technology industry forward to speak on a broad range of topics from home security, entertainment, automation, security, smart lights, connected kitchen, bath and laundry tech and many more." Here is a preview of the diverse list of speakers that will be presenting at TecHomeX in March.
Pam will be presenting twice during the conference, one presentation will be focused on water quality and conservation, and the other will be HVAC efficiency/technology, with a focus on clean indoor air.
For information on consulting and/or other building technology services offered by Fasse bldgs., please contact our office at (910) 679 4277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fasse bldgs. will be launching new web-based project management tools in 2016 including an online client portal and app allowing clients to make product selections, review and approve change orders, monitor their allowances and budget, request information, and track job progress. By utilizing these tools and methods, Fasse bldgs. hopes to offer a more efficient, more cost-effective, and more pleasant building process for our homeowners! #Bringiton2016
North Carolina is currently one of the fastest growing states in the country, and the projected population growth for the Wilmington, NC area is definitely in line with these statistics. I was astounded by these numbers as I read the 2015 City of Wilmington Fall Newsletter. Check out the projections below for expected growth in the area...
Wilmington, North Carolina is a strategically positioned port city that benefits immensely from its beach access. It serves as the main hub for the entire state to receive goods by ocean trade. That said, the city’s economic outlook is in good standing and continues to support a healthy housing market. Here's a quick look at the stats:
Wilmington Housing Market Summary:
Current Median Home Price: $389,651
1-Year Appreciation Rate: 2.8%
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Current Population: 112,067
Median Household Income: $47,594
Wilmington continues to demonstrate an increased propensity towards business development. In fact, NerdWallet, an online financial education and empowerment leader, recently ranked Wilmington as the second best place to start a business in the country. It is not hard to see why: Wilmington has a growing population, a strong tourism industry, and is close to the beach. Perhaps even more impressively, the city boasts nearly 15 unique businesses for every 100 people.
Job growth in the coming years is expected to piggyback off of local metros, and according to Fortune Builder, we should see an impressive run in the coming years. As a popular port city, Wilmington could benefit from the huge aerospace push expected in Charlotte, NC. Several aerospace companies have expressed interest in the region, which should only contribute to an already strong job sector.
For all intents and purposes, the Wilmington housing market has made great strides since the worst of the recession. Home prices have shown sustainable growth and the job sector looks to be able to handle the growing population. There is little to suggest that Wilmington won’t prosper in the coming years. Now is definitely a great time to buy in and around Wilmington, NC!
You have spoken, and Fasse bldgs. has listened. More storage space....we got it! Need more privacy and flex space....there's options for that as well. Ground floor master suite...no problem! Based on feedback, we have come up with some alternate layouts for the next phase of Tonbo Meadow. Take a look at one of the revised Tonbo Meadow floorplans below. There is also a plan in the works which has the master suite on the ground floor, as some clients have requested. As soon as I get a finalized version, I will be sure to get that one up as well.
If you are interested in Tonbo Meadow, have feedback following a showing, or have certain requests for future Tonbo townhomes....we would love to hear from you! There are always options that can be tailored to suit your family/lifestyle needs. Call our office at (910) 679 4277 or email email@example.com to discuss Tonbo Meadow or a Fasse bldgs. custom home. Please stay tuned for more Tonbo options and layouts as we get closer to breaking ground on phase two!
Third Floor (options include two-story and three-story townhomes)
Kitchens are undeniably the heart of today's homes so, understandably, you want your kitchen to look its best! At Fasse bldgs, we LOVE a good kitchen! Whether you are in the market for a new custom home, a total re-do, or some useful updates, here are some kitchen design trends worth considering!
1. An 'Open' Kitchen
Open floor plans with living/dining combined and/or a more natural flow from the kitchen to the living room is ideal for family time or entertaining. In lieu of the favorable open floor plans, we are also finding kitchen nooks aren't quite as popular as they used to be. If you have a nook and can't do a complete remodel, consider the 'new age nook' with media/tv, bookshelves, or casual seating where you can hang out or integrate cooking shows in your cooking area. In line with the open design, it seems most are favoring drawers over more traditional cabinets. Forgoing some upper cabinets is another way to opens up the space, allowing for more fresh white (or whatever your preference) tile, which not only feels clean and airy, but it reflects glorious light into the space. This design also welcomes some integration of open shelving. Mixing open shelving with cabinets seems to be the best option for most people. This design allows you to still hide some some dishes, utensils, and small appliances while displaying your more favorable pieces in an organized fashion.
2. Flow from indoor to outdoor
Now let's take the open floor plan a step further and continue to flow into the outside... Especially in our coastal climate, most want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Large folding glass door systems are extremely popular and allow you to completely open your kitchen to outdoor patios or porches. Screened porches also allow you to keep the space open and keep the bugs out. Outdoor kitchens or outdoor grill stations accessible to the indoor kitchen are great for enjoying the outdoors with family and friends while prepping dinner or apps on the grill. Allowing the kitchen to flow into the outside can also create more space for entertianing as well as alternative dining areas
3. Clean and Neutral
Clean lines, cool, clean tones and sleek finishes. Whites, grays, and neutrals help create a fresh look. Carrara marble is always a classic for countertops and even backsplashes or accents. White or gray quartz countertops are another favorite. Gray cabinets, counters, and accents are definitely popular right now, and the fresh white kitchen is timeless. Go with high gloss finishes if you prefer a more modern look, or even combine gloss and matte finishes to add some texture to your space. The subtle softness of a matte, combined with the light-reflecting shine of a gloss, can supply an additional point of interest to any installation. Just remember, you want simple elements that make a statement on their own and make the kitchen feel clean and uncluttered. Start with a simple neutral color palette and refer to it when making your selections.
4. Butler's pantries
Perfect for a cocktail or coffee station, prep area, or extra space for entertaining. Typically equipped with counters, a sink, and miscellaneous appliances such as a beverage/wine fridge, coffee/espresso maker, mini bar, or design of your choice. The trend is to keep supplies and appliances hidden, so things look clean while keeping items organized and easily accessible. This space often offers some additional storage or function, allowing for places to put outlets in corners, cabinet edges to hide cords, and often incorporates wine racks, shelving, or some sort of functional element, dependent on your lifestyle.
5. Pantry & Storage Features
Cabinet, pantry, and storage features add style as well as function. Barn doors and sliders are definitely in right now. Add some texture and dimension to your kitchen with a sliding barn pantry door(s). There are several varieties, depending on your style, ranging from the classic rustic barn door to a sleek gloss or glass options. Pop open cabinetry is also very popular, providing ease of use and the option to forgo hardware for a clean flush look. It is also evident that American kitchen evolution seems to be following the more European trend, with a greater emphasis on drawers and open shelving vs. more traditional cabinets where things tend to get lost in the back. Current kitchens are well thought out and detail-oriented, featuring various useful storage features in an effort to keep the kitchen organized and clutter free....pull-out spice storage, drawer plate racks, and compartmentalized drawers, just to name a few.
6. Appliances & Technology
Unique appliances and smart features that enhance and simplify our lives. Here are just a few of our faves:
- Refrigerator drawers in islands or integrated into the cabinetry : these pull out fridge drawers look awesome and they are perfect for those extra beers, bottles of wine or snacks that you tend to squeeze into the fridge or would have to store in a cooler nearby
- Zero energy appliances
- Drawer microwave - keeps the microwave out of sight and off the countertops...this option can also go in an island as well, so it gives you more options for design/placement.
- Steam ovens - I am a huge fan of these guys! Not only are they easy to clean, but you can cook, bake, roast, grill, steam, defrost, and even warm leftovers, making these ovens some of the most versatile appliances in the industry. Steam restores the lost moisture into your meals so that they taste as good as they did when they were first cooked (great for reheating leftovers). Steam ovens reach high temperatures and can thoroughly cook a chicken in twenty minutes, so they also cut down on cooking time. Not to mention, steam cooking is the healthiest form of cooking.
- Usb Charging Stations for phones, laptops, and smart devices
- Audio Speakers integrated into the kitchen design, often hidden in-wall or in-ceiling speakers and with bluetooth capabilities enabling you to jam out to your favorite pandora or spotify stations!
- Lighting- One pretty useful trend is motion activated lighting...often along counter edges or subtle toe kick lighting. Under cabinet lighting as well as motion activated drawer lighting are also popular
- Water filtration systems - lately the requests for these systems has not been limited to just kitchens, but most are opting for whole-house water filtration systems.
- Smart appliances/ smart controls- Imagine being able to preheat your oven remotely on the way home from work OR using your smartphone to view the inside of your fridge when picking up groceries on the go. These are just a few of the things you can achieve with the latest kitchen technology options. And these options are advancing every day!
- In the works....look for interactive kitchens, countertops that cook, integrated appliances that suggest recipes and ingredients and connect to social media and internet sources, holographic imagery, and interactive cooking surfaces, such as this one designed by IKEA. Check out the video below, for a quick look inside Whirlpool's new connected kitchen!
The Fasse bldgs. design team takes a more lifestyle/experience driven approach when working with clients to design or remodel their homes and kitchens. We first discuss lifestyle, priorities, and concerns and then work backwards to solve problems, and design a space that makes life easier and more fun! Especially in the kitchen, we strive for ease of use, performance, time-saving/speed, and organization. To learn more about Fasse bldgs. or discuss design+build options, please call our office at (910) 679 4277.
Fasse bldgs. homes are not only "green" or "sustainable," they are NAHB Green certified. NAHB Green is a certification program from the National Association of Home Builders that allows home buyers to easily locate homes that have been built to nationally recognized green building criteria. A green home incorporates energy and water efficient products and practices; is constructed with renewable, recycled and/or more durable materials; and is designed for improved indoor air quality. Green building is a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us – including increasing energy prices, waning water resources, and changing weather patterns. Potential benefits can include lower operating costs, reduced maintenance, and lifestyle and health improvements. The renewable, recycled and more efficient building products used in green home construction can help to reduce a home’s impact on the environment and natural resources.
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. This is a graphic created by the NAHB entitled "Energy Innovation: How Homes Become Green." It illustrates a range of green building features and explains several green building concepts.
Fasse bldgs. was thrilled to sponsor the 11th annual Wrightsville Beach Turkey trot this year! There were a record number of runners this year....over 2,ooo participants! This annual event on Thanksgiving morning is held by the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit that raises money to provide affordable housing for those in need.
“All of the proceeds we raise are going to build a Habitat home in 2016," Jessica Loeper, Habitat's Director of Communications and Outreach, said. "So a family in our community will have a home sponsored by the Turkey Trot, and everyone that participated in the Turkey Trot will actually have the opportunity to volunteer and build that house as well.”
It was a beautiful day! We had a great time at the race, and so glad to support such a wonderful cause and burn off some of those pre-Thanksgiving calories! We hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend!
I'm headed to Orlando tomorrow morning to represent Fasse bldgs. at the 2015 TecHome Builder Lux Event! I took a look at the product showcase and I am getting super excited about learning and sharing many of these awesome home technology amenities with our team and clients! Take a look at some of the featured products here. Stay tuned for updates and information about the event. I have a busy schedule but I promise to post updates whenever I get a chance!
It's that time of year again! Fasse bldgs. is a proud sponsor of the 2015 Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot! Come get your run (or walk) on before you gobble til' you wobble! All proceeds go to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity . Cape Fear Habitat helps many families in New Hanover and Pender counties buy decent, affordable housing. Sign up by Nov. 6th so you can be sure to get a t-shirt. We look forward to seeing everyone there to support this amazing cause!
The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. These International Codes are honored by most U.S. communities and many global markets.
The International Codes (I-Codes) published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.
Fasse bldgs. is looking forward to being involved with the process of ensuring public safety while allowing innovation to thrive. This membership allows us to be involved in public hearings, meetings, reports, as well as attain access to loads of information and introductory building products/materials as they move through the evaluation and acceptance process. ICC membership also offers professional training and education programs allowing Fasse bldgs. to stay on top of code-related updates, enroll in seminars/classes and engage with industry experts. We look forward to taking another step towards further professional development and valuable tools to enhance our homes and client experience.
It wasn't long ago that builders, architects, and engineers wrote off green building as the fad of the moment-- another momentary trend devised to pacify the growing number of environmentally conscious. These projections regarding the future of sustainable construction couldn't be more wrong.
There has been a wave of change happening in the global design and construction industry, and the results are in for green and sustainable building practices. Data from Research and Markets predicted a 13 percent compound annual growth rate for the green building market from 2015 through 2020, according to Environmental Leader. Likewise, a McGraw Hill Construction Green outlook report projected that between 40 and 48 percent of nonresidential construction that occurs this year will incorporate green building practices.
It's not simply a matter of saying your project is green. Certification involves an inspection to determine that the structure meets guidelines for better/more insulation, more efficient heating and cooling systems, lower energy usage, tighter windows, doors, and building envelope, as well as land planning and landscaping designed to prevent runoff and manage water efficiently.
According to the World Economic Forum, sustainability – of the environment, economy or society – is an attempt to ensure that the way we conduct ourselves today will not impose unfair costs on future generations. The green economy has an important role to play here: it can increase the share of renewable energies in the power sector, improve the efficiency of natural resource consumption and reduce pollution.
Research continues to reinforce that there are endless business advantages for operating a more sustainable building. The Financial Rewards of Sustainability report drafted by the University of Cambridge and the City University of New York demonstrated that the more sustainable a building is, the better it's investment will perform in the long run, both in terms of operational performance and investment risk exposure and volatility.
The value of sustainable building doesn't end there. According to Intelligent Building Today, positive long-term perks associated with sustainable design include better overall stability and property value for owners, along with higher performance on the stock market. This monetary list of benefits will make it easier to sell green building projects on the merits of their cost-effectiveness alone.
As sustainable building specialists, Fasse bldgs. would be happy to discuss building options, home designs, and/or potential efficiency improvements with you. We are also fully licensed contractors with a wide array of experience with start-to-finish sustainable homes, building projects/remodels, and full sustainable modern developments. We will be glad to tailor our services and solutions to meet your specific needs. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our office at (910) 679-4277.
I had a lovely time at the ROW Old Wilmington Backdoor Kitchen Tour (details discussed in last Friday's blog post here) on Saturday! If you didn't get a chance to attend this event, you should definitely put it on your bucket list for 2016! I included a few pictures below of Joan Keston's home on Dock St., which is located in Wilmington's Downtown Historic District.
Joan's nest is a custom home, built by Fasse bldgs., and designed by B+O Design Studio. Joan has been in her home just over a year and it is great to see how she has made this house feel like a home-- a perfect reflection of her own style, experiences, and good taste. As a world traveler, Joan has art and furniture from all over the globe. She also incorporates sculpture and paintings handpicked and/or designed by local artists. Almost every accessory has a story or sentiment. Her most recent piece is an interpretive painting of the street view of her home by a local artist.... I included a picture of it on the slideshow--it's fantastic!
The home's layout and design make it perfect for entertaining and taking advantage of the outdoor living space, which has been transformed into Joan's very own outdoor sanctuary. She told me she has been working a great deal with Element Outdoor Living on fine tuning the landscaping since the house was completed last year. The additional plantings, cozy design, and attention to detail make such an impact on the outdoor living space. Joan admits she spends a great deal of her time enjoying the fresh air and garden view (sans bugs) from the comfort of her screened porch. The private patio and large gas fire feature, are also perfect areas for friends to gather around, even in the cooler months.
Overall, I find the home to be the perfect mix of old and new. Mixed woods--- hickory floors, cypress ceilings, and mahogany porch accents. Varying countertop textures and colors also add a unique richness to the kitchen. The homeowner opted for modern elements such as a minimalistic Asian inspired master bath, while the home's exterior blends perfectly with the historic homes that surround it. The same goes for the interior design choices-- an eclectic mix of old pieces stand out against sleek surfaces. A mixture of modern, rustic, worldly, and vintage finds are sprinkled throughout, creating contrast and depth, while giving the impression of having been collected over time.
One of Fasse bldgs. custom built homes will be on the Residents of Old Wilmington (ROW) 'Back Door Kitchen Tour' tomorrow! ROW's annual Back Door Kitchen Tour opens the kitchens of nine beautiful Historic District homes (ours is 614 Dock St.) to visitors.
Tour-goers see the kitchens, each with a unique combination of beauty, functionality and adaptability, as well as the gardens and other portions of the ground floors of these historic district homes. You might even see something you want to add to your kitchen! For more information or to purchase tickets, check out their site here.
Definitely Stop by 614 Dock St. and see this awesome custom kitchen and home built by Fasse bldgs.!