Useful Sustainable Home Building Ideas

A few days ago I read a post from Arturo Terrazas who runs a successful and growing san antonio roofing company, and in his spare time he blogs and shares his knowledge in construction and explains that sustainable home building is more than just a trend. It’s a way of keeping continuous home costs down. Building green is also a great way of preserving the environment. Sustainable building methods are slowly becoming the industry standard. Here are useful sustainable home building ideas to help build an environmental friendly home. 

Design a Sustainable Home 

The design phase of your home is very important. This is the stage where you decide how your home will be built. There are many design ideas that you can implement to make your home environmental friendly. Work with your designer to come up with a custom, eco-friendly home design. 

Use Quality Building Materials 

What the materials you use to build your home are made of will affect the sustainability of your building. For instance, you can use plant-based or recycled materials to reduce toxicity and waste. Reclaimed materials like steel, wood, brick, and stone will give your home a highly coveted, excellent aesthetic. There are also many roofing and siding options that you can keep to lower energy usage in your home. Roof systems can also be used to insulate your home and enhance heat retention. 

Install Energy Efficient Lights 

When it comes to lighting a sustainable home, there are many lighting opportunities to consider. The current market has light fixtures that can be installed to make a building more energy efficient. The light fixtures use responsive technology to provide the right light amounts at different times. 

Use the Natural Light 

Make sure that your house is built in a way that allows in natural light during the day. This will go a long way in keeping electric bill down. Well-paced windows and skylights that allow sunlight in coated with metallic oxide can adapt to low-emissivity to maintain steady temperature. 

Water Conservation 

Installation of the right appliances and fixtures can help you build a sustainable home that enhances water conservation. Water-conserving faucets, dual-flush toilets, and efficient shower heads can all be used to conserve water. 

By working with your home designer and contractor, you can implement these ideas to have a sustainable house that suits your needs. 

Major Phases of a Construction Project

When starting a construction project, planning and the work involved can overwhelm you. Basically, any project can involve hundreds or dozens of tasks to be completed in a timely manner and in the right sequence. Experienced construction project managers understand that handling a project’s details and taking the right steps is crucial for its successful completion. Here are the major phases of a construction project should be followed to make it easy to manage and complete.

Phase 1: Project Initiation

Project initiation marks the beginning of a construction project. At this phase, the feasibility and value of a project is measured. A project manager uses different valuation tools to determine whether a project is worth pursuing. If a project is considered unfeasible or unprofitable, it is abandoned at this stage. But, if a project is considered feasible or profitable, the contractor moves to the next phase.

Phase 2: Project Planning

On receiving the green light, the construction team comes up with a solid plan. This plan guides the team while keeping it on budget and on time. A project plan is basically a guide for acquiring financing, obtaining resources, and procuring materials. It also provides direction to the team in terms of handling risk, producing quality results, creating acceptance, and communicating the benefits to relevant stakeholders as well as managing supplies. A project plan is also aimed at preparing teams for possible obstacles.

Phase 3: Project Execution

Here, deliverables are built as per the expectations of the client. The team leader ensures that this happens by allocating the necessary resources and ensuring that team members remain focused on tasks. Project plan is followed keenly and efforts of the entire team are focused on accomplishing what is specified in the plan.

Phase 4: Project Control and Monitoring

These are generally combined with project execution. That’s because they happen simultaneously. While the plan is executed, project is monitored continuously. Tasks are monitored and processes controlled to ensure that what the client was promised is what is delivered.

Phase 5: Project Closure

Once the project has been completed and delivered to the client, the project is closed. The completion date is communicated to stakeholders and resources are released to the next project. This phase entails evaluation and documentation of the project. The successes and mistakes of the project form the basis of strengthening the team’s processes.

Generally, a construction project can seem overwhelming at first. However, the project becomes easy when broken down into these phases and handled by the right experts.

How Does a Construction Loan Work?

Building a new home is a dream that many people think it’s unachievable. However, it’s possible to build a home or a commercial property with a construction loan. Nevertheless, getting this loan is a complex process for some people. Here is what you need to know about a construction loan.

Definition of a Construction Loan

A construction loan can be defined as an interim, short-term loan that pays for the construction or building of a home or a house. The money loaned for the construction project is paid by the lender in stages as the work progresses.

The maximum term for this loan is typically one year. Rates vary and they can move up or down depending on the prime rate. Nevertheless, this loan has higher rates than permanent loan mortgages.

Qualifications for a Construction Loan

To qualify for this loan, the lender needs the following: 

  • A construction timetable
  • A realistic budget
  • Detailed plans

Upon approval, the borrower enters a bank draw or draft. This is a schedule that follows the construction stages of the project. The borrower is expected to pay for the interest during construction. What’s more, the lender sends someone to validate the progress of the project whenever the loaned money is requested.

Types of Construction Loans

There are two main types of construction loans.

These are: 

  1. Construction-to-Permanent Loan

With this loan, you borrow money for construction costs. Upon completion and moving in, the loan becomes a permanent mortgage. Since this is a two-in-one loan, the borrower pays a single closing costs set. This reduces the fees owed the lender by the borrower.

     2. Construction-Only Loan

A construction-only loan entails taking out two different loans. One loan is for property construction only with a term of one year or even less. On moving in, you take a mortgage for paying off the construction. A construction-only loan doesn’t need a large down payment. It’s ideal for a person that already has a home but wants to build another house. Nevertheless, this loan can be costly because it involves two transactions with separate fees.

Generally, a construction loan covers the cost of materials and work for a new construction project. This loan can be used to finance contractor labor, permits, roof, and home framing, and interior finishing. It can also cover other expenses for building a house.

For more details and possible funding check out this website which breaks it down even further.

How Construction Technology is Improving Jobsite Productivity

The construction industry is generally among the slowest glowing sectors globally. Nevertheless, the modern construction technology is giving this sector a boost by improving jobsite productivity. And increased jobsite productivity is beneficial to every player in the industry. Essentially, improved productivity leads to decreased projects’ completion costs and time. This increases profitability which in turn enhances the competitiveness of contractors when it comes to bidding. Here are some of the ways modern construction technology is enhancing jobsite productivity.

Improving Communication

Prompt communication is generally important for successful completion of a construction project. The entire contractor’s team and stakeholders need effective communication to remain on the same page. With effective communication, long wait hours are eliminated when it comes to solving problems at the jobsite. As such, team members get back to their work places faster and this enhances the speed with which construction projects are completed.

Digital Documents Organization

Administration tasks are the major burden for most construction projects. However, modern contractors are using innovative technologies like project management software to ease these tasks. Using such software, contractors can easily control the administrative workload. The efficiency brought by this construction technology leaves contractors more time to focus on other tasks. What’s more, digital documents enable contractors and team members to access data in real-time. This enables them to make decisions faster thereby improving processes at the jobsite.

Players can also send reports or documents faster using project management applications. Thus, this construction technology is enhancing real-time data collection and dissemination thereby eliminating the need to move away from the jobsite to convey information.

Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility

Modern technology has introduced flexible and mobile tools that cater for the workers’ needs at the construction sites. For instance, contractors are using mobile time cards to enhance timekeeping while handling projects. Using such technology, contractors can provide time-tracking at the level of foremen. This enables them to monitor and ensure real-time labor productivity.

To remain competitive, contractors should embrace technology to enhance their jobsite productivity. And because technology is always evolving, contractors should always be on the lookout for what’s new in the industry.

Some of the critical safety concerns to look out for in a building site

Safety is a significant issue in any place and more so in a building site. A construction site has a lot of types of equipment and materials that can cause fatal injuries to the employees. One of the things that you should be concerned about include,

Trenches and ditches

A lot of channels have to be dug on the site when building. These holes can be fatal to a person if they fall inside. You need to make sure that everybody on site knows the dangers of walking around blindly. Depending on the depth of the trenches, if there aren’t proper protective measures placed, the ditches may cave in and cause havoc. You should put up barriers to keep the rest of the public away from the construction site since they can get hurt much faster. 

Falling or flying objects

You should provide safety gears like helmets and make it compulsory for everyone to wear them while they are at the building site. Most head injuries can be, and apart from losing their lives, one can suffer from memory loss or even seizures. Typically there is a lot of loose debris flying around the scene. You can also have circumstances where people accidentally trip and then get hurt. So make sure that everybody on the site is well protected against such issues.

Electricity

You need to have electricity at the site to power up some of the tools. You have to have a serious talk with your electrician so that they can ensure that there are no bare wires around the site. Usually, there will be water too so in case of a mishap and the two cross each other’s paths; then you may have a disaster in your hands.

Materials at the site

There are some materials and chemicals that you are bound to use at the site and hence the need for protective clothing. Ensure that whoever is dealing with such materials has enough knowledge about them and know the ratios that are needed. They should also wear gloves and mask so that they don’t inhale the harmful substances and get internal issues.

Heavy-duty equipment

These types of equipment include the forklifts and the cranes. These machines are large and if not operated by a qualified person, can cause a lot of damage. You have to tell your manager or foreman to make sure that they are working well before they someone operates. There is a need for inspections so that to avoid them breaking down while in use. You should see to it that there is a barricade on the swing radius of the crane. The operators should always have their seat belts on and avoid moving too fast when they have heavy loads on them.It is crucial to have signs around the site to remind the workers of the dangers that can occur. This is because you can’t avoid the risks, but you can make sure that they are at a minimal.