By Linford Good, Landis Homes VP of Planning & Marketing
Lititz, PA. The three-year renovation of the Landis Homes Assisted Living residences is in the final year of construction. When possible, green building methods and materials that conserve natural resources, increase energy efficiency and improve indoor air quality have been used. Follow the link to see some green building benefits the facility expects to reap. Landis Homes article
Reusing an existing building is one of the most straightforward ways to conserve resources. Many high quality materials found in older structures, such as brick exterior and plaster interiors, can be left in place. The reuse of older buildings diverts demolition waste from landfills.
Overhangs over windows are important components of passive solar heating and natural cooling. The existing buildings have 40 inch overhangs that keep the heat of the sun from entering during the summer, but allow winter sunlight into the space where it can be absorbed and re-radiated as heat.
Replacing toilets with low-flush models reduces the amount of water used. New toilets using 1.6 gallons per flush replace toilets that used 3.5 gallons per flush.
Replacing bathtubs with walk-in showers reduces the amount of water used. Generally, taking a shower uses less water than taking a tub bath.
Replacing light fixtures saves energy. Compact fluorescent lighting consumes up to one-fourth of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs to produce an equivalent amount of light. Light emitting diode (LED) lighting consumes one-tenth of the electric used by an incandescent bulb.
Insulation compatible air-tight recessed lighting fixtures are sealed, eliminating the “chimney effect” in which the heat of the bulb draws the room’s conditioned air up through the fixture’s holes and exhausts it into the attic. Sealed fixtures allow insulation to be blown on top to keep the heat in the room.
Cellulose insulation spread over ceiling joists decreases heat loss through the ceiling. Cellulose insulation is fire-resistant, made with recycled materials and has no added formaldehyde. It reduces air leakage and energy use.
Double-paned windows with low-E glass and low-conductivity frames improve energy efficiency. Low-E coatings on glass help prevent heat from escaping through the glass in winter and block heat from entering during the summer.
Attic ventilation system exhausts excess heat and moisture from attic spaces. Eave and soffit venting and continuous ridge venting increases comfort, reduces air conditioning costs and reduces problems associated with excess attic moisture.
Recycled-content carpet saves resources and diverts waste from landfills. Recycled carpet is often more resilient and colorfast than carpet made from virgin fibers.
Low VOC paint and adhesives reduce emissions, improving indoor air quality and reducing the formation of smog. Most paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), an indoor air pollutant. Low VOC products reduce off gassing of toxic compounds.