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Maybe we’re getting smarter about houses. Instead of assuming we’ll be able to move to a more accommodating space as age and physical infirmities catch up with us, more Americans are adapting their existing homes or designing new ones with the realities of old age in mind.
Accessible design covers a wide swath. Curb-free showers big enough to handle a wheelchair, entryways that incorporate low-slope ramps, and even residentially sized elevators all are potential if not fairly obvious features.
But an equally important design element is the built-in flexibility allowing the house to change right along with our needs, even if we can’t foresee exactly what they will be.
And while accessible or universal designs seem to be aimed mainly at older or disabled people, they also make the house more appealing and more useful for folks of all sizes and ages.
Building new means thinking ahead
Bob and Sharon O’Brien’s home outside Ithaca, N.Y., is a good example of how advance planning can pay off years down the road.
Their four must-have features included accessibility, low maintenance, energy efficiency, and easy day-to-day living.
To read the rest of the story: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/20282/designing-and-building-homes-that-stay-accessible/page/all
Welcome to GANT Custom Home’s newly designed website. Our portfolio of work is still under progress but you can see more of our work at:
Mr. Gant completed a week of classes and passed an exhaustive exam in order to be certified as a Passive House Builder by Passive House Institute United States (PHIUS).
The Passive House concept represents today’s highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. Widespread application of the Passive House design would have a dramatic impact on energy conservation. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that buildings are responsible for 48% of greenhouse gas emissions annually and 76% of all electricity generated by U.S. power plants goes to supply the Building Sector [Architecture2030]. It has been abundantly clear for some time that the Building Sector is a primary contributor of climate-changing pollutants, and the question is asked: How do we best square our building energy needs with those of our environment and of our pocketbook? In the realm of super energy efficiency, the Passive House presents an intriguing option for new and retrofit construction; in residential, commercial, and institutional projects.
A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides a uniquely terrific indoor air quality.
A Passive House is a comprehensive system. “Passive” describes well this system’s underlying receptivity and retention capacity. Working with natural resources, free solar energy is captured and applied efficiently, instead of relying predominantly on ‘active’ systems to bring a building to ‘zero’ energy. High performance triple-glazed windows, super-insulation, an airtight building shell, limitation of thermal bridging and balanced energy recovery ventilation make possible extraordinary reductions in energy use and carbon emission.
Today, many in the building sector have applied this concept to design, and build towards a carbon-neutral future. Over the last 10 years more than 15,000 buildings in Europe – from single and multifamily residences, to schools, factories and office buildings – have been designed and built or remodeled to the passive house standard. A great many of these have been extensively monitored by the Passiv Haus Institut in Darmstadt, analyzing and verifying their performance. Even governmental agencies have adopted passive house standards in their policy-making (read more about the EU Commision’s intent to implement the Passive House Standard.). www.passivehouse.us
“I want to take this time to tell you how much I really appreciate the work you’ve done for my mom over the last couple of years! She’s not always had the best of luck in finding good people she can count on. It’s difficult living so far away and not being there to help family when needed, but it’s been a relief knowing that she has a reliable, trustworthy, and good person who does quality work that she can contact for home repairs when needed. You are truly appreciated! Additionally, your positive attitude and commitment to family are truly inspiring! Being a fan of “do it yourself” home remodeling projects and business ownership myself, it’s been a pleasure following your progress and the growth of GANT Construction & Custom Homes. You do good work!” -RB
Check out the links to our new website and other online profiles. Learn more about GANT Custom Homes and GANT Construction by clicking on the following links. Thanks for looking. Please contact Cory Gant for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org