Tag Archives: green building

4 Energy Reasons to Invest in an Energy Saving Pole Barn

4 Unexpected Reasons to Invest In Energy Efficient Post Frame Design

Post frame buildings are increasingly being looked at from the standpoint of being energy efficient in their design. Regardless of the usage of the building, the costs of energy are not likely to decrease in future years. With the ability to easily create deep wall and roof cavities for added insulation, post frame buildings are more and more being looked to as the best design solution.

Cutting operating expenses beyond your utility bill

Of course, a better-operated, greener building uses less energy, improving its operational efficiency can make deep cuts to operating expenses. But positive returns can be delivered elsewhere too.

Many states and local governments offer tax incentives for green building certification to encourage lower utility usage and building carbon emissions. For example, the state of Nevada offers property tax incentives for new commercial buildings which achieve a certification from LEED or Green Globes. This incentive translates to a savings of 25-35 percent of the general fund portion of property taxes, delivering a direct and significant reduction to the operating expenses.

Access to better financing

Improved energy efficiency (and associated green building certificates) can open the door to better financing. Identifying and implementing specific energy efficiency and water conservation measures is a prerequisite for many financing programs which offer favorable conditions (such as discounted interest rates, preferred pricing or additional loan proceeds) for loans made on “green” buildings.

A compliance issue

Many older buildings were built before, or to emerging and now much outdated, energy standards and do not meet the requirements set out in modern building codes. Many local jurisdictions are enacting energy benchmarking and disclosure laws which require building owners to quantify and report their buildings’ energy performance.

Several states and local government are even taking it a step further and mandating green building certifications for new construction.

Getting the most out of energy efficiency investments

Changing regulatory, social and market pressures continue to drive the Return On Investment (ROI) of energy upgrades. For example, tenants demand greener buildings (and are willing to pay a premium for it); investors are being asked to demonstrate sustainability; and improved energy efficiency opens the door to tax credits, incentives and more favorable financing conditions. To extract the greatest return, building owners need to stay informed about all financing mechanisms and incentives, and determine what the best and most appropriate level of upgrades will be. In today’s market, it certainly pays to go green— by seeking out energy-efficient assets and by investing in upgrades to improve the building’s sustainability.


Green Pole Barns

Green building is one of the most dynamic market forces in construction today. Pole buildings are considered sustainable, but until very recently little documentation existed on the energy efficiency and the reduced impact on the environment created by pole barns.

“Green building” is based on producing more sustainable buildings and is the basis for green building certification systems. These include the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.), Green Globes, National Green Building Standard and the International Green Construction Code. These certification systems encourage many building practices including the use of recycled, regionally produced and rapidly renewable materials.

Current pole barn construction methods contain many green elements. Green pole barns support reduced site disturbance, less wood required for the structural system, engineered roof systems, wall and roof cavities with room to accommodate insulation to meet International Energy Conservation Code requirements (a must for many green building systems) and flexibility of interior design due to the absence of interior walls and partitions.

One area of study to help support the claims of pole building construction as a green building method is the building’s life cycle — a collection of all inputs (materials and energy) and outputs (product, waste, emissions) required by a structure for the intended service life of a building. The IGCC, the National Green Building Standard and Green Globes include a whole-building Life Cycle Analysis, however currently no green building certification system requires it. It’s important to note, however, green building systems are constantly undergoing evolution. The need to document the environmental effectiveness of buildings, particularly green pole barns, will only continue to increase.

Life-cycle costing (LCC)   is a method to determine the entire cost over a product’s intended life cycle. For buildings, the main factors considered are initial cost, operating costs, replacement costs and maintenance or repair costs. This economic assessment includes detailed energy modeling of the structure. It does not include environmental impacts of the building and is not currently included in any of the green building certification systems. The main use for LCC is a purchasing tool for predicting the expected costs of a structure, rather than focusing only on the initial construction costs.

Building owners, engineers, architects and other specifiers should be aware – in most low rise buildings, pole building systems can reduce the amount of structural materials used compared to other types of construction.  As Green Buildings become more popular and in higher demand, pole buildings in comparison to other types of building designs, will be the hands down winner.

Green Buildings: The Economics of Building with Wood

Green Buildings: The Economics of Building with Wood

Pole Buildings are a great green building solution

Anyone can equip a building with a few energy efficient features and call their product “green”, but a true move to sustainability in low rise buildings means improving the building process itself. In an industry as fragmented as construction, doing so demands a major investment in time, energy and capital. Every facet of the design and materials delivery process must be integrated, considered and evolved in order to truly “go green”. It is not like you can just have a builder pick up his cell phone and order up a fully integrated maintainable building system.

Or can they? For nearly ten years Hansen Buildings has been earning a reputation for sustainable construction solutions.

Speed is a huge factor, as for building owners time is money. The time and energy it takes for an individual or builder to design a building, source the materials and get them delivered to site is tremendous.

The process all begins in source code. Literally hundreds of thousands of lines of computer programming allow every last component in a Hansen Pole Building to be checked for structural accuracy as well as cost efficiency. Over twenty years of development have gone into a system which is being constantly upgraded and refined to produce the most efficient design solutions, with the least amount of waste.

Each structure is completely and accurately modeled using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). Hansen Building’s Designers and engineers analyze all of the structural components and systems – from the architectural concept through the structural designs.

Materials are selected from the most trusted sources and suppliers, using Sustainable Forest Initiative Certified Sources when available. Modern pole building design is an environmentally sensitive alternative to traditional construction methods.

Hansen Buildings is not just a solution for single story structures. We’ve designed and delivered materials for buildings as tall as 44 feet and with three stories, and have the technology available for even taller!

Few can deny the ecological benefits of building with wood structural components. Wood outperforms steel and concrete because it requires less energy in production, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, releases fewer pollutants into the air and water and generates less solid waste.

Analysis indicates constructing a wood framed pole building with equal structural features costs considerably less than a concrete or steel framed building. Those savings, combined with the significant materials management and times savings of the Hansen Buildings process yields a winning combination for building owners seeking an economical alternative to other construction options.  Green buildings are definitely the wave of the future!

Even something as “big” as a pole building, you can definitely…”go green”!

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Wood is Good – Green Building Construction

Obama Administration says “Wood is Good”

The Obama Adminstration has officially endorsed wood as a green building material. The U.S.  House and Senate passed resolutions in 2009 and 2010 acknowledging the American wood industry sustainably manages an environmentally preferable natural resource, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilscak recently announced a strategy to promote the use of wood as a green building material.

Pole Building Framing Lumber

Pole Building Framing Lumber

Proclaiming 2011 as The International Year of the Forest, Vilsack has directed the U.S. Forest Service to preferentially select wood in new building construction and maintain commitment to certified green building standards; examine ways to enhance research and development projects using green building materials; and actively work to identify innovative non-residential construction projects which utilize wood as a green building material.

“Forest Service studies show that wood compares favorably to competing materials,” said Vilsack in a statement released by the USDA. “Wood has a vital role to play in meeting the growing demand for green building materials.” Vilsack said this policy shift for USDA is consistent with President Obama’s executive order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

According to a recent Forest Service study of lifecycle analysis, it was determined using wood yielded lower air emissions, including greenhouse gases, than the processes of using other traditional building materials.

In conjunction with the USDA’s three-part strategy, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has asked for an “increased use of locally milled timber in all new agency buildings and facilities,” while Vilsack has directed other USDA agencies to “incorporate the Forest Service policy of using domestic sustainable wood products as the preferred green building material for all USDA facilities and buildings.”

Pole buildings incorporate the use of wood for structural members. Unlike all steel, or many other construction options, pole buildings utilize pressure treated columns, prefabricated wood trusses and dimensional lumber roof and wall framing – the entire structural “guts” are all wood. What differentiates pole buildings from “stick built” construction is the simplified building geometry of the post frame system. The pole building goal being to utilize the minimum amount of materials needed, to place a large clearspan volume of space under cover.

It’s green.  It’s mean.  It’s a pole building dream!  It just doesn’t get any better.