Thursday, April 26, 2012

What About Going Green in Indiana?

Going Green in Indiana

These days green buildings are an important option among different building systems. Green building technology, also known as "sustainable building" or "green construction", is a process of building based upon water and energy efficiency, and the use of eco-friendly building materials.

Growing number of Indianapolis green homes is a perfect basement for joining the green building societies of the United States. Also, the Indiana Home Builders Association announced its plans on "going green".

So why are green homes so popular everywhere in the U.S., including Indianapolis?

Among the main goals of green building are environmental protection, water and energy usage reduction, and healthy environments for home residents. Practices and technologies employed in the process of green building may vary from region to region, but the fundamental principles, used to build Indianapolis green homes too, remain the same: Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Materials Efficiency, Sustainable Indoor and Outdoor Design, and Waste and Toxin Reduction.

Green Homes may also be described as Zero-energy Homes, if they are designed with self-energy systems. To reduce energy consumption and waste, several different types of insulation and energy-saving devices are used. The most common method of energy conservation is to use renewable energy sources: solar power, wind power, hydro power or biomass.

Indianapolis Green Homes are now widely featured at the Indianapolis Home Show and other local building exhibitions. There you can also find custom homes, timber frame structures and much more.

We would like to know:  What is your opinion about the future of green building in the State of Indiana?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Are Floor Heating Systems Used in Green Homes?

floor heating systems
Do You know what are Radiant Floor Heating systems and how do they work? Have You ever thought why are Radiant Floor Heating systems used in green and sustainable homes? What are the main benefits of Radiant Floor Heating systems? Are they a better choice than Forced Hot Air systems? Let’s discuss!

Radiant Floor Heating systems provide homeowners with efficient and cost effective heating solution, while causing minimal interior changes, so they are pretty good decision for green homes. There are different kinds of Underfloor Heating systems which are used depending on flooring installed.  

Among available types of Floor Heating Systems the most popular are matting, foil and loose wire systems.

Loose Wire Radiant Floor Heating systems are usually installed under stone and tiles flooring in smaller areas of your home such as bathrooms or kitchen.

Matting Radiant Floor Heating systems are recommended to install for larger spaces or rooms and will essentially hidden under wood, vinyl, linoleum or carpet. Matting systems are easiest to install as they have the form of a rolled mat that keeps heating elements at the right width from each other.

The Foil Based Heating systems are used with laminate or carpeted floors and even with cork engineered wood because of their safety. The heating elements of such systems are coated in foil.

All kinds of Radiant Floor Heating systems are recommended to supplement with floor insulation for more home efficiency.

The main benefit of Underfloor Heating systems compared to other kinds of heating is the providing of warmth straightly to inhabitants (by the feet) instead of blowing hot air that will concentrate under the ceiling. Furthermore, the body contact with warm floor while stepping out from bathroom or just walking around on bare feet has no equivalent feeling.

However, while installing Radiant Floor Heating You should always keep in mind the kind of flooring in the room for choosing better suitable kind of heating device. And then enjoy efficient warm floors in your Green Home!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Castalia Homes Builders - Certified Green Professionals!

Building a quality green home is a task that needs a lot of special skills, but not only skills are required. Today’s building market has very tough competition of home builders and building companies, so it might be confusing for a homeowner to find qualified professional for building a green home. To help the consumers identify the professional green home builders and their level of education various certifications were created (such as LEED). To educate the green home builders some programs were created too. National Association of Home Builders provides NAHB Education for its members and affiliates to achieve the highest level of participation, leadership, professionalism and business profitability. NAHB supplies green home builders with a variety of educational resources.

The most commonly known and recognized NHAB designation is Certified Green Professional. Green home builders must complete the necessary training to join the NAHB National Green Building Standards Program, which provides a set of National Standards about how to build green homes. NAHB has the responsibility to standardize the actual meaning of green home building. The Certified Green Professional designation confirms and extends previous designations for green home builders such as Energy Star, LEED certifications etc.

Professional green home builders recognize the National Association of Home Builders as a leading database of housing knowledge and regularly refer to the association for continuing education.

Castalia Home Builders as professional green home builders and members of NAHB also regularly attend education courses provided by the association and increase the level of education. So if you’re interested in building high-quality green home, please contact us at

Monday, February 20, 2012

Castalia Homes: LEED certificated green homes

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system is a rating green building certification system.  This system is provided by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC;) a Washington-based non-profit organization that stands for prosperous and sustainable future for the nation trough cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

The LEED program covers over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in the United States and other 91 countries.  The current number of participating projects reaches 35,000.

LEED for homes is the part of program (and the nationally accepted benchmark) for the design and construction of high-quality green homes. LEED certification, developed in 2000, offers tree-stage rating system that measures a homes performance on eight categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials, & resources, energy & atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, location & linkages, awareness & education, and innovation.

Each LEED-certified home passes inspections and testing individually to ensure its high performance.  After all inspections are made it gets one of these tree rated stages: silver, gold or platinum.

Castalia Homes is a green building company that uses USGBC LEED certification for the every home they build.  Castalia Homes just certified another LEED for homes house and now has the most certified green, highest performing homes in the State of Indiana!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Castalia homes: the main principles of green design

Green, or sustainable design is an important part of the green building process.  To create a green design for your home you should follow its principles.  While there’s a variety of a practical applications, the principles of green design are mostly similar to green building fundamentals.

First, when choosing an interior, use low-impact materials.  The perfect materials for green design are non-toxic, sustainably produced or recycled.  Local or bio-regional materials managed from renewable sources are usually preferred.

The next important feature is quality and durability.  Always choose longer-lasting, and better-functioning products that need replaced less frequently.

Sustainable design is also associated with a design for reuse and recycling.  Some parts of the interior can be made from products that are reused and will have their “afterlife.”

Second, sustainable design should support the energy efficiency of your home.  The general plan of the interior should include manufacturing processes which require less energy.

Waste prevention plays a great role in green building, so it should also be continued in green design.

In conclusion, based on the main principles of green building, green design should be natural, efficient, durable, and of a high quality.  If you turn on your imagination and use these principles as a guide, your home will not just be “green,” but it will look amazing as well!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Green Design: Common Intentions and Applications

Design always plays a great role in building because it effects how convenient and spectacular your home will be.  When building green, design is not less important.  In green building there are some principles that should be extended in design too.  As a result a new kind of design appeared, green design that is also called sustainable design or ecological design.

The main intention of sustainable design, as it was said exactly in “The Philosophy of Sustainable Design” by J. F. McLennan, is to to "eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design."  The principles to use no non-renewable resources, to impact the environment minimally, and relate people with natural environment are used during design, the same as during green building.

All the details of ecological design provide not just things for life but also a special behavior and relations between user and object or service.  This relationship should be long-term, respectful and mindful.

Sustainable design may be considered a philosophy that can range from microcosm (small things for everyday use) to macrocosm (buildings, cities, etc.)  This philosophy can be applied in the fields of architecture, interior design and landscape design.

A main factor in ecological design is reducing.  By choosing green building technologies, and green design for our homes we reduce the impact of building and of our everyday home life on the natural environment.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Going green by using LEDs

An integral part of green building is energy efficiency in your home.  When thinking about building a green home you need to decide what kind of lighting will be installed.

Usual incandescent lamps have become outdated.  Due to the trends of the last decade, a lot of people began to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs,) which are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. 

Today, there is an additional alternative technology that really works, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.  The difference between LEDs and other forms of lighting is mostly made by a Solid State Lighting (SSL) it uses diodes as a source of illumination instead of gas or electrical filaments.  Because of this fact they stay cold, live longer and break less easily.  LED lighting can also be easily focused on a specific target.

LEDs produce more light per watt – nearly 48-70 lumen's per watt, while CFLs provide nearly 60, and incandescent – just 13!  Their life time is from 40,000 to 50,000 hours, for CFLs it’s – 10,000 hours, and incandescents only 750 hours!

The reduction of energy use leads to a lower cost of energy bills.  LED bulbs cost a bit more than CFLs but even considering the prices they will undoubtedly save not just energy, but your money too.

Another advantage of LEDs is their safety.  These bulbs do not contain mercury as CFLs bulbs.  So there are no risks of toxic exposure and no problems with their utilization.  LED lights do not emit significant UV or IR radiation.

You can make an impact on global environmental protection by using LED bulbs.  If 25 percent of the light bulbs in the US were converted to LED bulbs it could save $115 billion in utility costs by 2025, alleviating the need to build 133 new coal-burning power stations and cutting carbon emissions by 258 million metric tons.  This means that if every household or business in the U.S. replaced just one or two standard incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, the electricity saved would be more than the output of the country’s largest nuclear power plant.

So think about these statements and go green using a light-emitting diode lighting!