Building a high-performance, energy-efficient home in San Antonio:

  • Use Low-E Windows
  • Minimize East/West Windows
  • Extend Roofline Over West Windows
  • Design Your Home With an Engineered HVAC System
  • Build a Sealed Home - Use Spray Foam Insulation
  • Have Your Home HVAC System Sized for Sealed House

Building a Green Home

Help-U-Build embraces the "Green By Design" philosophy in that 90% of the effective green-building strategies occur within the first 10% of the design process.

Conservation is another key strategy in the "Building Green", Help-U-Build philosophy. Saving a commodity - like energy and water, is 5 to 10 times cheaper than producing that commodity. Conservation strategies are indeed "the low-hanging fruit" with respect to green-building technologies and practices for new home design.

What "Green" Building is Really About

  • Reduced Consumption - Energy, Water, Non-Renewable Materials
  • Improved Health - Indoor Air Quality, etc.
  • Reduced Environmental Impact

"Conservation strategies can easily save more than all the present renewable energy sources combined - solar hot water, photo-voltaic, geothermal, wind energy, etc."

The House as a System

  • Moisture Management
  • Air Infiltration
  • Insulation

"Heavy-duty house wrap and properly-installed window flashing as an integrated moisture management and air-infiltration SYSTEM."

Spray Foam Insulation

  • Real "R" Value, not de-rated with air flow through the attic
  • Reduces Humidity in the House
  • Keeps Attic Cooler
  • Keeps HVAC Ducts Cooler
  • Clean, Dry Attic Storage

Humidity Control

Front-Loading Washer "Top-loading washing machines are the single greatest source of indoor humidity in most homes."
Bathroom & Kitchen Exhaust Fans High-quality, "outside-venting" exhaust fans, with a timer switch for every time you bathe or cook.

Indoor Air-Quality Strategies

  • Build an air-tight home
  • Control sources of moisture & humidity
  • Control indoor pollutants at their source - exhaust fans, front-loading washers, effective dryer vents, non-toxic bug treatment
  • Separate the garage from your home.
  • Air-tight HVAC ducting.

Safer Pest Control

"Stainless-steel mesh system provides a non-toxic and permanent termite treatment."
"Chemical treatments pollute the water table, effect indoor-air quality and don't last."

Water Conservation

"Saving water also saves energy. At 62 lbs/cu ft, it takes a lot of energy to pump."
Setting Priorities:

  • Xeriscaping & Smart Landscape Watering.
  • Water conserving appliances and fixtures - 15 gal/load vs 50 gal/load washers.
  • Rainwater Collection
  • Grey Water Re-use

Energy Conservation Strategies

  • Effective use of natural day lighting - reflected natural light from multiple sources - less glare and easier on the eyes.
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs - 18 watts of electricity versus 75 watts with Incandescent Bulbs - for the same amount of light.
  • Downsizing AC Unit - with foam-insulated - closed-system house.

Beyond Conservation

  • Solar Water Heating
  • Solar Photo-Voltaics for Electricity Generation
  • Tankless Water-Heaters
  • Alternative Building Systems - ICF's, SIP's
  • Super-Insulated Water Heaters
  • Manifold Plumbing Systems
  • Wind Generation Systems
  • Geothermal Heating Systems

Building a High-Performance Home

  • Radiant Barrier Roof Decking
  • Low-E Windows
  • Minimize East/West Windows
  • Extend Roofline Over West Windows
  • Engineered HVAC System
  • Sealed Home - Foam Insulation
  • HVAC System Sized for Sealed House (Guaranteed "Not to Exceed" Heating/Cooling Bill)
  • Foam Insulation versus ICF, SIP Wall Systems - Comparable Performance, Lower Initial Cost - Better ROI.