This week, the Hudson bloggers get feedback on their "green" progress.
Last week, Bob and Rosie of Steven Winter Associates, came by Third + Bond for the second inspection on our journey to a high performance building. Steven Winter Associates is our green building consultant and assisting us with both USGBC’s LEED for Homes program and NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program. By this time next year, we should be fully approved as LEED-Gold and Energy Star (rating for the entire building, not just appliances).
The first inspection took place several months ago and was to verify that we were installing the foundation insulation as planned. Bob also checked that we were using good construction practices in terms of waste management and the like.
The second inspection was to check progress and to note any potential issues. Bob and Rosie’s visit followed a construction site meeting, so a large group of Hudson and Kiska representatives were available to attend the walk through. While Bob and Rosie didn’t say anything we hadn’t heard before, we think it made a tremendous difference to have them point to areas that need extra care, as opposed to showing photos of an example building. When Bob pointed out the mastic on the HVAC ducts and complimented the subcontractor’s excellent application of the gooey substance to seal the joint between two metal tubes, it brought the abstract idea of air sealing into specificity.
Likewise, when he pointed out the floor to ceiling line where two wall panels come together and said the crack between them must be sealed off by spray foam, we could practically see Kiska’s project manager mentally calculating the amount of spray foam he needed to purchase.
The idea behind all this foam is part of the “seal it tight, build it right” school of thought on high performance buildings. We choose to heat and cool our buildings pretty much year round and that takes energy. There are repercussions of this energy use, from utility bills to air pollution. By minimizing the amount of energy that escapes through cracks and spaces in a building, we minimize the energy lost and thus energy needed to do the heating and cooling.