While it may seem as if everyone is now jumping on the “green building” bandwagon, some industry leaders and building trend observers have been emphasizing the importance of earth-friendly building and design for a long time. In one area of the country, this has even launched what has become an annual attraction to serve as a real-life model of green building with a sense of style.
Southern Living is a magazine that (as you can probably guess from the name) focuses on all aspects of life in the South. It has become one of the largest lifestyle magazines in the country by spotlighting trends, attractions, culture and other aspects of living and working in that region of the U.S.
Every year, the magazine undertakes a major home building/renovation project to spotlight the latest innovations and products in green living. This annual endeavor is called the Southern Living Idea House.
For more than 20 years, the Southern Living Idea House project has assembled innovators and industry leaders from all aspects of building and design, bringing them together to create an impressive example of green building. Over the years, this project has taken the form of a wide range of different property types, from a beach house to a brownstone.
A major aspect of the project is to show off energy-efficient features, and illustrate how these sorts of practical elements can be seamlessly incorporated into a stylish, modern-day design without detracting from the look or feel of the home.
This year’s Idea House project involved building a “Lowcountry style” home that encompasses all of the traditional style elements one might expect from a comfortable Southern home.
One of the main “green” elements of this property is the use of spray foam insulation, coatings and roofing materials to make the structure more energy efficient. Given the home’s lakefront location, protection from water and other elements was a big concern. The building team felt that spray foam could offer optimal protection for that purpose. In addition, with the steamy South Carolina temperatures, the air conditioning systems for properties in that area tend to operate at full capacity. The impressive insulating properties of spray foam allow the interior temperature to stay comfortable, while reducing the demand placed on HVAC systems.
As a bonus, the tight envelope created by the spray foam insulation and coatings also helped to prevent dust and other irritants from entering the property.
Using an assortment of spray guns and other spray foam equipment, the SPF material was applied underneath the roof, in the exterior walls and within the foundation walls. The total application area involved 6,350 square feet. Since the property was so large and involved some particular design challenges such as 25-feet heights at certain parts of the roof, this project required a high number of workers and lots of equipment.
As noted in Spray Foam Magazine, the jobsite consisted of a fleet of three mobile spray foam rigs, each of which was outfitted with Graco spray guns and proportioners, in addition to other spray foam supplies and equipment. This equipment was critical in allowing crews to apply the spray foam quickly and efficiently, since the project had to adhere to an ambitious (and inflexible) timeline. This project had to be completed and ready to show off by the date of the grand unveiling, and also needed to be included in a specific issue of the magazine.
Contractors, builders and members of the general public who are interested in green design can check out the home to learn more about its noteworthy earth-friendly features-and perhaps get some inspiration for their own green building projects.
Southern Living Idea House 2014 is located in the Palmetto Bluff community in Bluffton, South Carolina, which is located between Charleston and Savannah. It is open to the public for tours until December 14. After that time, the home will be “retired” as a public attraction and will become an actual home to its new residents—who will surely appreciate all of the efforts that went into achieving the home’s impressive energy efficient status.
Of course, most contractors won’t have to tackle such a high-profile project, constructing a property that will become a short-term tourist attraction and receive national media attention. However, the green building aspects and potential utility savings that can result from energy efficient construction or renovation tactics are likely very important to each and every one of your customers. Providing these customers with the results they are seeking will require a jobsite that is stocked with the right spray foam equipment.
From custom-designed mobile spray rigs to the latest spray foam equipment or anything in between, you can find everything you need at Intech Equipment & Supply.