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Green Minneapolis Construction: Finding the Right Location, 23 Feb 2015
23 Feb 2015

When you want to build something which is environmentally friendly according to the U.S. Green Building Council, you have to consider a lot more than just the building itself, such as its layout and some of the technology attached to it. You also have to consider different materials and transport, among other things. But before any of that can get started, you have to think about location. Indeed, the USGBC looks at the location of a building site before work has even begun. In a city like Minneapolis, construction typically occurs on whatever land you might have available to you. In other words: You work with what you have. So on this inaugural post about green building techniques, we are going to go over how to find the ideal location for your eco-friendly home.

Reuse Some Old Land

One of the biggest and easiest things you can do to get some big points on the tough LEED certification criteria is simply using land which was previously developed and then left alone. This satisfies a requirement which gives points for reusing undeveloped land. Things like old railroad yards or even an abandoned warehouse will give you huge points in the Location and Transportation portion of the certification. Here in Minneapolis, where construction is always happening but sometimes never goes anywhere, you could find yourself a gold mine (theoretically, of course) by setting up a home or business where planning was simply dropped.

Protect the Habit

There is a lot more to selecting a prime location than just reusing land, however. The biggest reason why the USGBC looks at this segment carefully is so the surrounding natural habitat of the local flora and fauna can be effectively protected. According to the current version of LEED, there are several things to look out for under the category Sensitive Land Protection. Watery areas—and we know there are plenty of those in Minnesota—are the prime benefactors in this sense.

Build Outside of the Floodplain. This is probably common sense, but you want to build your home outside of the floodplain. Here in Minneapolis, construction can be delayed massively because of spring floods as the winter thaws out. But you want to build in a dry area for more than just insurance reasons. Thousands of species of amphibians, birds, and insects live in the floodplains of America where moisture is rich and there are many nutrients to be had. So by building outside of the floodplain, you get to preserve their livelihood as well as yours.

Count on Coty

There are plenty of other reasons why you should consider looking for a proper location for your home. Feel free to contact Coty Construction or check out our e-book for more information about the importance of picking the right site.

Bricks and Construction in Minneapolis, 20 Feb 2015
20 Feb 2015

With over a month spent on how different types of siding affect construction in Minneapolis, as well as the value of your home, you would think that we were just about finished. The fact of the matter: We are. From the wonders of composite siding to the issues regarding vinyl, we have talked about every type of exterior wall there is… except one. We have saved the most distinctive siding material to the very end, the one which people instantly look at for some great aesthetic appeal. Of course, we refer to brick and masonry.

Some Wonderful Benefits

The very first thing people notice about brick is its look. Brick has a most distinct aesthetic which is appealing to a wide number of people. There’s just something about red brick which makes a house instantly appealing. But brick has more advantages than just visual appeal. Brick is also quite strong. It is actually the strongest of the siding materials, to be exact. It is fireproof, moisture-proof, and requires no painting. In short, you put it down, you mortar properly, and you never have to touch it again. Brick is also quite effective at holding back temperatures of all kinds, meaning that your home will be toasty warm in the frigid Minnesota winters. From a construction in Minneapolis aspect, brick is a quality material in that it supports the weight of a house most easily, making it easy to work with.

A Few Troubling Deficiencies

Brick is not perfect, however. For starters, you cannot replace siding with it unless you want to get rid of the whole wall. Couple that with the fact that you need an expert mason rather than a standard contractor and you are looking at some hefty installation prices. In addition, it might support the ceiling well enough, but it also puts a lot of strain on your foundation.

But the real problems when it comes to building with brick are in the substance itself. Brick is a porous material unlike wood, composite, or even vinyl. This means that not only does it allow radon inside the house in greater quantities, but it is also susceptible to damage from vines and moisture. Mold can start growing which you need to periodically check for. Replacing damaged bricks also entail the replacement of that entire section of wall, once again making it costly.

Count on Coty

But the appeal of brick is understandable and everybody loves it. It is timeless, easy to work with, and a great option for construction in Minneapolis. If you want to find out more information on bricklaying and how to take care of it, feel free to contact Coty Construction or check out our eBook, which should have all the information you are looking for.

Making Smart Choices for Winter Roofing in Minneapolis, 18 Feb 2015
18 Feb 2015

All this bad winter weather going on on the Atlantic coast got us thinking about our own weather situation. Minnesota annually gets some terrific snowfall which surely wreaks havoc on roofing in Minneapolis. So we wanted to look into how custom homeowners should be able to combat this problem and make the most out of their roof against the snow and ice. During our research, we actually came across this Forbes article which addresses specifically this problem and boy, did it make a lot of sense. Let’s look into what they said.

Don’t be Too Complex

Their first tip was use a simple gable. Now, a gable, in layman’s terms, is the point from which a roof declines. If roofing is an arrow, the gable is the arrowhead. But when you build a house with seven gables, you wind up taking away from its overall stability. Ice dams will form much easier. So if you want to avoid that, go with just a single gable. They are in style, anyways.

Avoid Skylights

Openings in the roof apply to two things: holes and leaks, obviously; and skylights. Roofing in Minneapolis should not use skylights as these also weaken the integrity of the roof. Many disasters have occurred because snow shatters a skylight and floods the house. Instead, use large windows along the sides to bring in sunlight, as these are more easily protected against the rigors of the Minnesota winter.

Keep Obstacles Out of the Way

Most houses nowadays have a chimney. Chimneys lead to fireplaces, which provide a tremendous amount of warmth and class to a room. But if a chimney is located near the edge or in the middle of a roof, that causes yet another impediment against snow rolling off of the side. Of course, this contributes the formation of ice dams. If you want to avoid this, instead position the chimney at the highest point, along the ridge. This will limit obstacles and make it easier to shovel the roof clean.

Know Your Materials

Roofing in Minneapolis usually comes in basic asphalt. However, asphalt is not a good material to use to prevent ice dams from forming. Leaks will happen almost every season if you use asphalt shingles. Instead, look to some of the alternative materials. Wood shingles do a great job of managing snow. But the best material is easily metal, which is turning into a more popular roof type as folks look for easier ways to keep their roofs clear. It is also a recyclable resource, making it great for environmentally aware homeowners.

Count on Coty

Here at Coty Construction, we have a great deal of experience handling and installing metal roofing in Minneapolis. We want to help you make the transition easily and at an affordable cost. Contact us for more information.

An Introduction to Green Construction in Minneapolis, 16 Feb 2015
16 Feb 2015

Our post about wood shingles and wood siding last week got us thinking: There is a lot more to be said about energy efficient construction in Minneapolis than just what materials you use. There is a massive demand for extra care to be taken when it comes to energy efficiency and people love hearing about how homes and buildings are set up in ways that are friendly to the environment. So, because we are always looking for ways to help people save money on their home while also being friendly to our Minnesota environment, we are starting this series on green building techniques.

Green Building is King Here

Energy efficiency is one of the key issues with many Americans these days. Where it was once something of an ambiguous topic, now people are looking for better ways to build homes without it impacting their environment badly. This focus is especially evident in in Minneapolis construction projects. According to the Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment, “more than 10,000 businesses and 50,000 Minnesota families” have adopted energy efficient techniques on a personal level to help lower their energy bills.

Why We Should be Green (From a Building Point of View)

But there is still so much more to be done! Yes, recycling helps tremendously. But we can’t just be content with setting out bins full of plastic and cardboard every few weeks. We also need to adopt new techniques with how we approach construction in Minneapolis. Many programs are out there right now which provide the tools and drive we, as contractors, need to clean up our buildings and make them limit their carbon footprint even more.

The LEED Program.For starters, there is the LEED program. The LEED program is run by the U.S. Green Building Council, an agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy. When a contractor or architect applies for the program, the DoE sends an agent down to the site to closely observe everything going on at the site. Nothing is left unobserved—even the trucks are looked at to determine how much gas they used to transport materials, what kind of gas they use, and their impact on the environment.

When the building is complete, the agent presents a scorecard to the building owner’s telling them how impactful their project has been on the environment. There are three different levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. It is a tremendous achievement to be given even the Bronze certification for Minneapolis construction. These are techniques which could prove hugely beneficial to the Minneapolis homeowner.

Count on Coty

This is why we are starting this series here on our blog. We want to know more about how to be cleaner and we want to help you feel cleaner as well. Contact Coty to find out more information about our techniques and the materials we use. We are more than happy to answer your questions.