Green Building Library

High Performance Heating & Cooling

A great HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system is one of the few investments that can pay you back over time. These mechanical systems are at the heart of an efficient and healthy home. Meadowlark installs the best mechanical systems available. We constantly work to improve efficiency and operation of the systems we install in our homes. From computer-aided ductwork design, to expert geothermal heating and cooling installations, to state of the art passive techniques, we’ll help figure out the right system for your home. You can reap the benefits of a home that is comfortable, healthy and energy-efficient.

Advanced Building Techniques

One key to an energy efficiency and healthy home is a home with a tight envelope. Meadowlark Builders are experts in Advanced Building Techniques and materials used to create the tightest home envelopes possible. To achieve this we use computer modeling and build with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), Durisol ICFs, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), Advanced Framing Techniques (AFTs). As masters of Advanced Building Techniques and materials, Meadowlark Builders has built some of the most energy-efficient homes in the country.

Advanced Water Systems

Water and energy are inextricably linked. Energy production is one of our nation’s largest consumers of water, and moving and purifying water consumes lots of energy. But water is also a precious resource, far more so than energy. You can live for 5 days without electricity, but try doing that with water.

About 1% of the world’s water is fresh and potable and in Michigan, we are surrounded by 20% of the world’s potable water supply. It is a resource that we all cherish, and water protection and conservation is more important than ever. Even in Michigan, we are over-taxing our aquifers and wasting water at an enormous rate. Many of the techniques below exist to build homes that use far less water with no decrease in performance. These techniques can also save a lot on your monthly water bill.

Sustainable Landscaping

What’s outside of your house has a great deal of impact on the “green-ness” of your home as well. Aside from location considerations (walkable cities reduce infrastructure and automobile energy use), the lot can also have a big impact.

On any given lot, we want to keep the water that falls on the lot there, and preferably harvest it for use in irrigation. Reducing impervious surfaces that direct water off the lot is a goal. Using native, non-invasive plants is another goal – they will be right for this climate and do not require irrigation. Finally, providing habitat or movement corridors for wildlife on larger lots can also enhance the local environment.

The end result is a yard that will look nice and create a good local environment. If this is combined with an ultra-efficient home with good product choices, we can build in a sustainable fashion that enhances the local ecology.