Green Takes on a Whole New Meaning

by Alison Miller

The Arden Group

For many people, the term “green” in home construction evokes images of solar panels and reusable materials. For the energy consultants at Arden Environmental, “green” takes on another meaning. “When our building company, Arden Construction and Design, consulted with owners about updating or adding to their home, we learned that regardless of when the structure was built, most lacked energy efficiency,” said Blake Hayworth, energy consultant for Arden Environmental. “By identifying these inefficiencies, we could recommend small improvements and save the owner a significant amount of money on energy costs.” These observations in older homes led to the creation of Arden Environmental. Different issues exist depending on when the homes were built. Pre-1950 homes share some common environmental problems – they have air leaks in ducts, single pane windows, inefficient weather stripping, and most lack insulation.

In the 1980s, building practices had improved but there were now air leaks in ceiling fans, recessed lighting, receptacles, light switches and HVAC registers; a lack of insulation around newly popular amenities like garden tubs; and major gaps in the foundation or ceilings. Regardless of the age of a home, an energy audit identifies inefficiencies in homes leading to increased energy costs.

Hayworth says educating the consumer is a major component of an Arden Environmental audit. After performing an audit, the energy consultants discuss their findings with the homeowner. They also provide a report to recommend various cost-efficient improvements that can be done to save money on future energy bills. “Often consumers immediately think they have to go through the major expense of replacing their windows, when an energy audit may reveal that the problem is not with the windows themselves, but the sealant around the window. A three dollar tube of caulking may be the better solution,” said Hayworth.

Hayworth is certified through the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), is a certified green professional through the National Association of Home Builders, and is a certified Envelope Professional and Building Analyst through the Building Performance Institute. In addition, Arden Environmental is an EPA certified lead paint renovator.

The Arden Group is the parent company of Arden Environmental, and includes Arden Construction & Design, a custom home builder and remodeler, and Arden Communities, a land development and new home company. In addition to the services through these divisions, The Arden Group provides real estate consulting and partnerships to banks, real estate investors, and other builders and developers.

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