Green Building

Watermark & Company is committed to providing Green Building & Remodeling to the Austin, Texas area by following energy efficient standards that benefit both you and the environment. By investing in Green Building practices, you can live more comfortably, reduce your energy consumption and expenses, and make an impact on preserving our environment. Below are a few standard features and Green Building techniques that Watermark & Company uses regularly:

Reuse Lumber Materials

On most of our renovation and some home building infill projects, we will encounter existing construction materials (such as dirt, lumber, siding, trim, etc.) that can be retained or donated. We always collaborate with our clients on this front because not only can this save you money, but it will also reduce the impact of construction debris on local landfills and natural resources.

We Recycle our Construction Debris and Trash

When you build or remodel a home, a large amount of construction waste is generated. However, items such as lumber, sheetrock, metal, concrete, plastics, cardboard, or aluminum are recycled reducing our impact on landfills, air pollution, water pollution, and energy consumption. If desired, documentation is available on what recyclable materials were pulled from the trash, the quantity of each material, and where these materials were diverted.

Energy efficiency and preserving our environment are not just priorities at our jobsites; we also maintain a “Green Office”. We use energy efficient light bulbs, office supplies made from recycled materials, and we recycle most of our office waste.

Freecycling

“Freecycling”, a term created by The Freecycle Network, is when we give away usable materials, such as used appliances, fixtures, hardware, etc., instead of discarding them in the trash in an effort to lessen the burden on our local landfills. We use this technique on occasion for our renovation projects for items that are still in fair condition and will gladly donate these items to someone who can benefit from them. Freecycling reduces our impact on the environment, reduces the need to manufacture new goods, and serves the community.

No VOC Paint

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals often found in paint that contaminate the air inside of your home. Watermark & Company uses No VOC Paint on walls and ceilings, which is a safer alternative that has less odor and increases air quality in your home by reducing the emission of chemical compounds that can be harmful.

Energy Efficient Windows

Windows can be a large source of energy loss in a home. Providing shade for windows should be the most important consideration in addition to windows with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). SHGC measures how well a window blocks heat from sunlight. The SHGC is the fraction of the heat from the sun that enters through a window and is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits. You will want to select a window that has a SHGC of 0.30 or less.

Another less important factor for windows in our climate is Low-E glazing. Low Emissivity (Low E) windows have a metallic oxide coating to reduce the amount of heat gained and lost throughout the year, substantially reducing the amount of energy used in your home.

Radiant Barrier Decking

For projects without spray foamed attics, we use radiant barrier decking (foil-faced OSB -Oriented Strand Board) under shingled roofs to help reduce energy consumption. These radiant barriers reflect the sun’s heat and radiation, increasing the comfort of your home and allowing your HVAC system to be more energy efficient.

House Wrap and Foamed Penetrations

Watermark & Company installs house wrap, along with foaming any exterior penetrations or gaps, to add another layer of protection to your home. Studies have shown that house wrap can reduce outside air infiltration by as much as 50%. Reducing this infiltration of outside air reduces the energy required to cool or heat your home, and helps you save money on energy bills. House wrap also helps keep out airborne pollutants that can otherwise penetrate your home.

Cement Board for Shower and Tub Walls

Often, mold is found in shower and tub walls due to the installation of paper-backed products (such as drywall or greenboard) behind the tile. By using cement board tile backer in shower and tub walls, you can greatly reduce the presence of mold in these wet areas.

Mechanical Systems

For any new HVAC system, Watermark & Company properly calculates all heating and cooling loads using ACCA Manual J and sizes the equipment accordingly. All of our cooling equipment has a rating of 14 SEER and we test the ductwork for leaks with a duct blaster test. When feasible, we encourage locating the heating and cooling equipment within the building envelope and not in an unconditioned space, such as the attic.

Performance Testing of HVAC Systems

For complete HVAC system installations, Watermark & Company will hire an independent 3rd Party Inspector to perform a Duct System Leakage test, a System Static Pressure test, and an Air Balancing System test on the heating and cooling equipment. These performance tests are conducted to ensure that your HVAC equipment is running optimally and efficiently.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters, or “Demand” water heaters, heat water on an as-needed basis using less overall energy than conventional water heaters, which can result in savings for homeowners. There is no standby energy used to maintain the temperature of the water and there is less water wasted while you wait for a remote faucet to warm up. Tankless Water Heaters are smaller in size and can provide an endless amount of hot water while reducing energy bills.

If you do have a conventional water heater, and it is located in an unconditioned space (such as the in the garage or attic), one way you can reduce your energy consumption is with a water heater blanket. Water heater blankets are easy to install, are economical to buy, and can reduce energy loss by 25% to 45%.

Plumbing Fixtures

Low volume toilets and low flow water fixtures can make your home more efficient and reduce your impact on the environment, all while saving you money on your utility bill. Again, we will be happy to install whichever plumbing fixtures you choose, but please keep these water conservation fixtures in mind when making your selections.

Lighting

The installation of LED, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and other Energy Star compliant light bulbs significantly reduce energy consumption and will provide savings in your home. Unlike incandescent light bulbs, Energy Star rated light bulbs provide lighting using less energy without emitting as much heat, and they last longer too.

We Shop Locally!

Whenever possible, Watermark & Company purchases the majority of our materials from local Austin and Central Texas businesses. Shopping locally makes a positive impact in our communities and benefits the local economy, ensures choice and diversity among local vendors, and maintains community character.

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