Green living

Panache is dedicated to creating beautiful environments inside and out. From our energy-efficient engineering to our environmentally conscious construction, we promise that your home will be as sustainable as it is beautiful.

A home should not be at odds with its surroundings. It should be part of the landscape, perfectly complementary to the location nature has prepared for your house. Panache builds our custom homes to be products of their environment: windows strategically spaced to allow light to stream in during key hours of the day so your home stays bright, but not too hot in the summer; hardwoods sourced from sustainably harvested lumber and made with non-toxic adhesives and finishes; and natural, recycled materials throughout your home to bring the outside in.

Nature and technology go hand in hand as Panache pushes the boundaries with our luxury homes. Solar panels on your roof can power the iPads in your walls, which in turn control the low-flow showers and modular LED lighting. With appliances supplied by industry leaders such as Wolf, Grohe, and Kohler, all aspects of your home work together in harmony to create a seamless, gorgeous, and green living experience.

What is Green Building?

True green building begins well before construction and takes the entire lifespan of the home into account. Everything from siting to design, from maintenance to renovation, and from construction to demolition must be considered when planning a green home. Panache relishes the opportunity to balance energy-efficient, cost-effective construction materials with our gorgeous and innovative design and engineering to create one-of-a-kind homes that stand the test of time in their economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Below, please feel free to read about just a few of the aspects Panache takes into account when designing and building your custom, green home.

Foundations

A strong foundation is essential to any building project. When it comes to luxury homebuilding, only the best will do. Panache stays ahead of the curve, using the latest in sturdy, environmentally conscious construction materials in the creation of our homes, and the foundation is the first step.

Concrete has long been the go-to material for foundation construction, but building the entire foundation out of concrete can cause problems in your home’s future. Concrete, while cost-effective in the short term, is a poor insulator by itself and often increases heating and air-conditioning costs: a single pane of glass is a better insulator than a full inch of solid concrete. Concrete also wears down over time as it is exposed to heat, cold, rain, and other weather conditions.

Material science has come a long way in a short period of time, and a new material has proven its worth in homebuilding and other construction projects: plastic. Two innovative new answers to concrete’s problems, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), make use of a durable and low-cost plastic called polystyrene. According to the Insulating Concrete Form Association, homes built with these new foundational materials can expect to save hundreds of dollars per year on energy bills, reducing the size of their heating and cooling equipment and lowering their impact on the environment. As a bonus, SIPs don’t fall victim to the same weathering fatigue as concrete. The original foundation will resist degradation caused by wind, rain, snow, heat, earthquakes, or anything else nature can throw at it, keeping your home and your family safe.

The advantages don’t end there. Since the foundation is stronger, less material is required to build the support structure for the rest of the house. Homes built with SIPs require an average of 35% less lumber during construction, and since the material is malleable it can be shaped more accurately than concrete. Less required material means less waste and more design freedom. The safety, style, and savings of green foundation options make them a clear-cut winner for those who want the best for their home.

Electrical

Electricity is the lifeblood of the modern home, and its importance only grows with each new advance in technology. But with increased importance comes more wiring necessary to bring electricity to every part of your home, and finding more elegant solutions to the waste generated in wiring can help reduce the overall material cost when constructing a home.

Once again, plastic seems to be the answer. Plastic has been the go-to wiring insulator since World War II, and as new types of plastics have been developed their longevity, cost-effectiveness, and ability to insulate the wires has only increased. With few exceptions, the wiring running through the walls, floors, and ceilings of our homes and workplaces — and even the wiring hanging between electric and telephone poles — are wrapped with flame-retardant, durable plastic. In over 60 years of use, the safety, longevity, and small environmental footprint of electrical plastic has yet to be questioned.

Plumbing

Many currently buried water pipes are made of copper or other metals. While rust-proof metal used to be the best material to use, metal pipes tend to develop leaks around the pipe joints and can corrode after long periods of use. Some municipal codes allow for up to a gallon of water leakage before a pipe needs to be replaced because of metal’s tendency to degrade.

PVC piping, on the other hand, does not corrode and can be cut to specifically match the needs of the location it will be placed in, able to be cut, drilled, and placed more efficiently than metal. PVC flexes more and lasts longer than metal pipes, so the water running through the pipes will not be contaminated by contact with the ground. It’s also non-conductive and an excellent insulator, lowering fire risk from electrical hazards, keeping water at the right temperature for longer periods of time, and lowering energy bills along the way.

Low cost, durability, and ease of installation make PVC an excellent, green choice when piping your construction projects.

Flooring

Hardwood floors are one of the top requests when building custom luxury homes and office spaces. As such, many building companies simply opt for a quick-and-dirty approach to flooring that can lead to decreased quality and costly repairs.

The Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability measures laid out by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology inspect several criteria when grading flooring, including amount of solid waste, natural resource depletion, and indoor air quality. Using sustainably harvested lumber from reputable farms and careful designing and planning takes care of the first two, but indoor air quality is an often-overlooked aspect of interior design and construction. Some adhesives and finishes used in flooring installation can negatively impact indoor air quality. When laying a hardwood floor, it’s important to use natural and carcinogen-free materials to improve the air you breathe while in your home.

Of course, there are more flooring options than hardwood. Bamboo has taken off in recent years as a fantastic alternative to traditional hardwoods, harvested from a fast-growing and easily collected source. PVC has also crept into the realm of flooring, with PVC tiling approaching the beauty of marble and with much better aesthetics and moisture sealing than linoleum. Whatever the material, the chemicals used in green floor construction must be non-hazardous and cost-effective to improve air quality and ensure the floor is beautiful and easily maintained throughout the course of its use.

Roofing and Insulation

Long gone are the days of dangerous fiberglass insulation. Spray foam and hard foam inserts are cheaper, safer alternatives to more traditional methods of insulation and stave off bugs and weathering more effectively. An energy- and cost-efficient solution, foam insulation can be used throughout the home and expands to fill in even the tightest of crawlspaces and create a weatherproof seal that keeps you and your family comfortable during the most severe weather.

Of course, the insulation would serve little purpose without a roof over your head. A roof must be equipped to handle any number of environmental conditions, and a roof enforced by spray foam can stand up to hail and strong winds and resist degradation caused by water damage or exposure to extreme heat. In fact, in research conducted by Underwriters Laboratories designed to test how these roofs fared against hurricane-force winds, the spray foam roofing outlasted the lab’s equipment — an impressive showing which cemented its standing as the number one choice for building safety.

Spray foam insulation and roofing is an efficient and energy-saving way to make your home or workplace safer and more comfortable. With its top-class durability and ease of installation, spray foam equals less waste in both the short and long term and provides unmatched quality and environmental protection.