15 Se Habla Green – Green Design Checklist 1

Se Habla Green.

Rand Soellner Architect Understands & Speaks Green Design Here.

Green Design Checklist 1.

Custom Home Architects Using Energy Conservation Methods and Green Design Philosophies for Sustainable Architecture and Healthy Homes.

Some of These Will be Shared With the public in this Green Design Checklist 1.  This is the 1st in a Series and is part of Going Green 4 Less.

——- 9-4-2009, Rand Soellner Architects, Cashiers, NC, USA

(C)Copyright 2009 Rand Soellner, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  “Se Habla Green” coined by Rand Soellner 9-2-2009, as part of Rand Soellner Architect’s Green Design Initiative (GDI).  You are granted a license to link to this article in its entirety for informational purposes.
green design checklistRand Soellner = Green Home Architects .  Se habla green: Soellner happens to be one of the few Energy Star Partners (see DOE/EPA) working as custom home architects.  They also create commercial projects.  While discussing the Energy Star home design recommendations with the DOE representatives when they were accepted into the program several years ago,  they noticed that there was no Green Design Checklist 1 saying to “do this” or “do that” in one place.  There were loose, unrelated comments from a variety of sources.  It took much effort to find everything that the DOE/EPA recommended.  This article is the first in a series, because there is too much information to cover and the resulting Total green home architects checklist(s) will be ultimately quite long.
These home architects had to create their own comprehensive list(s).  They have built their list of Energy Star home design recommendations, along with those from their research and experience into their specifications.  This article is their sharing of some of their copyrighted green design techniques and green design checklists with the public.  Soellner hopes that this will help organize the green home architecture movement, which is part of Sustainable home Architecture.  Soellner is providing a Green Design Checklist 1, something that never seen before.

green design checklist

Green Home Architects Initial Findings for Green Design Checklist 1

e-mail green design checklist architectsMuch of Soellner’s Green Design Checklist 1 findings are the result of hard core trial and error and observations of what works and what doesn’t.  Some of this is distilled into Soellner’s green design checklist 1.  Soellner’s specifications and design practices exceed Energy Star home design recommendations and current IRC (International Residential Code) code books and all USA county-adopted codes, to their knowledge.  Some of their procedures are not even mentioned by code books or the DOE/EPA, as they have developed them over the course of decades of design and construction experience and common sense.  As custom home architects, Soellner designs for projects all over the USA and for projects abroad, so they have contact with a variety of Authorities Having Jurisdiction.

green design checklist 1

Green Design Checklist 1, Energy Star Home Architects & Surpassing Goals

It is not surprising to these home architects that their Green Design practices “out-Green” most enforcement entities and even Energy Star itself.  Rand Soellner, AIA/NCARB is a member of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and the AIA has a mission to substantially improve the efficiency and “greeness” of the homes and buildings architects design and promote energy efficient architecture and reduce the carbon footprint homes and buildings leave on our planet.  Soellner wants to exceed current requirements, to be on the Green Design vanguard of improving energy efficiency, healthy home design and aesthetics.  This green design checklist 1 starts this.

Soellner is offering the public what Soellner thought they were going to find when they joined the EPA/DOE Energy Star program: a nice checklist(s).  This is Not all-inclusive, but at least it will help start your Green Home Design project.  Consider it Part 1.

RSI+GDI (Rand Soellner Architect + Green Design Initiative) green design checklist 1

for Custom Home Architects and Green Home Architects:

Administrative & Healthy Home Requirements:

________ 1.10  UNDERSTAND OPTIONAL COSTS.  Recognize that many Energy Efficient choices are options and that some of these may cost you more money than what would be in your Base Bid.

green design checklist 1________ 1.35 CLEAN UP.  Provide 2 dumpsters.  One for recycled construction materials, the other for landfill trash.  You should be able to recycle about half of the debris that normally goes to the dump.  This is a big win for your community and reduces trash at your local landfill.

________ 1.80 HEALTHY HOME DESIGN.  This is a trademarked process invented by Rand Soellner Architect, created to make homes under construction healthier.  There is not enough space in this one article to include all of it.  Here are some items:

________ 1.81  Food Trash Disposal.  Do not eat food within the home under construction if at all possible; morsels end up in the built home and in the ductwork, where bacteria grows.  If you can’t stop this from happening, have one large plastic trash barrel in the home with a plastic bag in it and have the jobsite foreman be responsible for insuring that food debris is placed in this barrel after each meal and disposed of into the trash dumpster daily.

Use 2 dumpsters on custom home design projects.  Use one as the "green" bin for recyclables.
Use 2 dumpsters on custom home design projects. Use one as the "green" bin for recyclables.

________ 1.82 Ductwork.  Do not use absorbent surfaces at the Interior of any ductwork.  Use only metal or non-combustible plastic or foil, that are anti-bacterial.  Wrap the Exterior side of ducts with insulation.  Angle ductwork so that there are no low points to gather moisture.  Clean ductwork interiors after it is installed and before owner move-in.

________ 1.84 Sealants, Air Tightness.  Control where and when fresh air enters your home.  This should be accomplished through your HVAC system and your choice to open and close windows, rather than  infiltration (uncontrolled gaps where air spills into and out of your home, which can be costly when you pay to heat, cool and filter your air).  This is a large section and there is not space to do this justice here, sorry.

________ 1.85 Use Non-Toxic Materials.  No formaldehyde, only carpets with “green tags” with no toxic off-gasing containing alcohols and other damaging substances.  As a matter of fact, the less carpet the better; it is almost impossible to keep really clean, especially with pets.

________ 1.86 Window Treatments.  No looped cords as draw strings for blinds; babies have been strangled by these in the past.

________ 1.87 Paint.  No lead.  Ventilate spaces being painted.

________ 1.88 Use Less Paper.  There is a lot of paper in home construction.  For instance, normal gypsum board (also called “drywall”) has a paper skin.  There are paperless drywalls. Paper absorbs moisture and grows mold and mildew (that’s a “green” you don’t want!), also bugs eat paper and it would be better not to feed creepy-crawlies in your house.

________ 1.89 Professional Cleaning.  Most contractors are not equipped nor have patience for an expert cleaning.  There are companies that do this.  You need it.  Get rid of all of the construction sawdust and debris down to a damp mopping before you move in.  Every surface (including top of ceiling fan blades) need to be cleaned before you expose your family to your new custom home.

________ 1.810 Irrigation & Gutters & Downspouts.  Separate them.  Do not allow irrigation spray to contact your home or drip next to foundations or basement walls.  Water spray on structures is a major source of “sick buildings,”  per Rand Soellner, AIA/NCARB.

________ 1.811 Wall Finishes.  Do Not install impervious plastic wall finishes on the Interior side of Exterior walls, like vinyl wall covering.  You will have mold and mildew.

Green design checklist 1 conclusion.  More next time in future green design checklists …

All images on this article are copyright protected either by the author or stock photo suppliers and are not to be separated and copied apart from this article.


Rand Soellner home architects fuction throughout North Carolina, including Asheville, Brevard, Cashiers, Charlotte, Hendersonville, Highlands, Lake Toxaway, and also will design homes for locations anywhere in the USA and the world.

Rand Soellner services include: green design checklist 1 (and additional checklists), custom home architects, log home architecture, post and beam architects, mountain home architects, timber frame design, and Energy Star home architects, to name a few.

Contact Information:
Rand Soellner, AIA/NCARB
Website: www.HomeArchitects.com
E-mail: rand@homearchitects.com
Phone: 828-269-9046

tags:  green design checklist 1, green home architects, cashiers architect, highlands architects, Atlanta home architect, asheville, brevard, etowah, denver, evansville, Dubuque, mountain home, jackson hole, park city, boulder, colorado, glade springs, west virginia, las vegas, aspen, burbank, chicago, destin, panama city, new york, lake tahoe, hollywood, paris.

green home design universityGREEN HOME DESIGN UNIVERSITY QUESTIONS, for those of you taking Rand Soellner Architect’s course of green instruction:  about the above subject:

1.  In part 1 of this Green Design Checklist, what 2 items below are proposed?
a.  That all green design options will always be cheaper than standard construction.
b. Understanding that many efficiency choices are additional cost options.
c.  Disposing of food debris outside of the home daily to keep the house clean.

2.  What is proposed for healthier ductwork inside a home that is reasonable in cost?
a.  Use of expensive all steel ductwork in all locations.
b.  Use of the standard practice of fibrous fiberglass ductboard exposed inside all ducts.
c.  Use of code-approved non-fibrous materials being exposed inside ducts that do Not trap moisture and dust and debris.

3.  What is something that should be done before moving into a home once the construction is completed?
a.  A thorough professional cleaning of all surfaces inside the home.
b.  Short circuiting all of the breakers in the house.
c.  Coating the interior side of all exterior walls with vinyl wall covering.

If you are continuing in your Green Home Design University course to the next level,
Favorite this page now, by clicking on your “Favorites” menu choice in the upper left of your Windows Internet Explorer window,
then click here:  Green Design Initiative to go to the next level 16.
1. b.+c., 2. c., 3. a.