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Our Mission. Building Better, Living Better.

Keith Lathon, Builder/ Developer (Retired)
Building Tips and Meet the Artisans
Paul R. Williams, Architect: Recognize a Great One
The World's Best

Our Mission:
Your residences will be built by World Class Artisans with impeccable craftsmanship and a high degree of a integrity.  We will oversee every aspect of your house to ensure it is unique in design with flawless finishes, elevations, and floor plans. The opportunity exists to build and create something unique and suited to your lifestyle, with the best products the market has to offer.  This is what we all dreamt of as children.  When things are built with passion, Design, Craftsmanship and Longevity they can't help but be appreciated by those who value beauty and excellence.




Our commitment to a Green House is foremost for the Client. No house should make you sick and our use of safe materials, that should be an industry standard. Here are some ways to make your house safe and clean for you and your family. 

Heat from the Underground:

 A new twist on an old favorite—the heat pump—is gaining ground in the green building movement. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) use natural thermal energy stored just below the earth's surface to provide space heating during the winter and cooling in the summer. They also can be configured for radiant heat and domestic water heating.

Just a few feet underground, the temperature remains at a relatively constant 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Animals take advantage of this warmth by burrowing into the ground to hibernate. Similarly, geothermal heating systems employ buried pipes to access the earth's warmth for indoor heating.

Geothermal systems do not burn fossil fuels to create heat. They cost very little to maintain and operate, and they provide homeowners with an affordable alternative to rising fuel prices–although they are significantly more expensive in first cost.

A Dream Home
When John and Linda Cavanagh built their dream home in Rye, N.H., in 1992, they wanted to avoid using oil or natural gas. They installed a geothermal heat pump system, but not without careful thought. John was a little apprehensive about being a pioneer in geothermal technology.

"Geothermal was somewhat of a leap of faith in technology because the traditional heating system up here is fossil fuel," says John. "When it's not something your neighbor has, you greet it with a bit of skepticism. That's the New England way."

Today, though, he's happy with his choice–a direct-exchange (DX) geothermal heat pump from ECR Technologies, Inc. A "desuperheater" takes the heat collected during the air-conditioning cycle and transfers it to the home’s hot water storage tank for supplemental water heating in the summer. The result is substantially lower water-heating bills for Linda and John, as the system saves energy normally used by the hot water heater.

Direct and Efficient
DX geothermal systems offer a number of advantages over standard water-based geothermal heat pumps, according to Joe Parsons, director of marketing for ECR Technologies. The key difference is that copper is used for the underground heat-exchange process, which involves only one heat transfer process. Water-based geothermal systems typically rely on plastic for underground piping, which requires two heat exchanges. As a result, the system uses about twice the energy as a DX geothermal system, says Parsons.

Greater thermal conductivity, flexibility and availability in small diameters make annealed or "soft" copper tubing ideal for the long underground tubing runs required in DX geothermal heating/cooling systems, says Andy G. Kireta Jr., national program manager of building and construction, Copper Development Association. "Heating and cooling are the biggest energy-users in the home," he says.

Energy Savings
In the past 12 months, the Cavanaghs estimate they have spent a total of $972 or 38 cents per square foot for heating, cooling and hot water for their 2,600 sq. ft. home. If oil had been their primary fuel source, their annual heating costs alone would have exceeded $2,000, according to ECR calculations.

The system cost about $9,000 including installation, which required drilling four bore holes about 100 feet into the ground. However, the Cavanaghs received $8,000 in energy rebates for building their house to Energy Star specifications set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Other energy-efficient features used in the home's construction include structural insulated panels, energy efficient windows and compact fluorescent lighting.)

"DX geothermal gives homeowners a way to reduce their energy bills, while helping promote a healthier environment," notes CDA's Andy Kireta. "That's technology all of us can live with."

 Making Your House Watertight:

 The following steps will give you information about the types of commonly used materials and their basic properties.

  • Building Paper -- Also know as felt paper, tarpaper, roofing paper or roofing underlayment. Building paper is an asphalt-impregnated paper that comes in different weights. For example, 15-lb. paper is used for most roofing and wall applications. For most builders, felt appears to be the drainage plane of choice for roofing, and many builders use it to provide a drainage plane for the walls as well.

Building paper resists air and water getting into the home, but allows moisture to diffuse through it. Microscopic pores in the paper allow moisture through but are so small that bulk water can't penetrate its surface.

  • House Wrap -- House wrap is a thin plastic that's literally wrapped around a home over the wood or foam sheathing, cut out around windows and doors and taped at the seams.

Like building paper, house wrap resists air and water getting into the home, but allows moisture to diffuse through it.

  • Thin Structural Sheathing -- Thin structural sheathing can provide both a sheathing and a drainage plane for the walls. It's approximately 1/8-inch thick, is constructed from recycled wood fibers and has a water-resistant surface that provides the drainage plane.
  • Rigid Foam Sheathing -- Rigid foam sheathing provides insulation as well as a sheathing and a drainage plane for both framed walls above grade and foundation walls below grade. The R-value of rigid foam sheathing ranges from R-3 to R-5.

 Heating Your Home: Alternative Options:

There are many ways to supplement your central heating system, but one of the most common is to use a fireplace to gain additional heat in your home.

Fireplaces are good as an extra heat source. Let's say it runs on gas. If you have a power outage in the winter, you can get a lot of warm air from the fireplace. In fact, if you have the luxury to plan ahead, putting fireplaces in key places and using them as zone heating devices is a tremendous benefit to you. The fireplace would produce an efficient heat, and the concept is to heat the areas that you are living in rather than heating the whole house with a central heating system.

Other Benefits to Having a Fireplace

Whether you use a wood-burning or gas unit, a fireplace is a great way to add heat to your home, but adding heat isn't the only benefit a fireplace provides:

  • Adding ambiance to your home is another key benefit to having a fireplace.
  • Another big advantage to adding multiple fireplaces to your home is that they can -- if you live in mild climate -- replace the need for a centralized heating system.

Note: Like the rest of your heating system, fireplaces should be installed by qualified, licensed technicians that specialize in this kind of installation.

Selecting fireplaces early in the building process will enable the home builder to match the HVAC requirements. Note that fireplaces are tested to the same standards as the central furnace system.

Which Type of Fireplace Is Best for Your Home?

Of the two choices -- wood burning or gas -- both provide the same qualities of additional heat to your home; however, a gas fireplace will be more efficient in the long term. It used to be that fireplaces were started early in the morning and kept going all day, but now homeowners aren't in the house all day, so you can walk in, flip a switch on a gas furnace and it's instant heat. It's instant efficiency!

Rooms That Are Hard to Heat

Speaking of efficiency, how do you handle those rooms in your new home that are hard to heat because they have an abundance of exterior doors and windows?

Localized space heating does a great job of providing an alternative heating option for just those places. A small localized space heater can be used to heat a problem area where a person is cold -- yet the whole home doesn’t' need to be heated. Normally for a residential application, a space heater will be a regular appliance that plugs into a regular 110-volt outlet, and it will have a thermostat usually. It will heat the room without heating the rest of the house.

Some places where you might consider using a space heater to warm things up are a den, a back patio or a bathroom.

Constructive Advice: Be careful when using space heaters to warm your home. Although small, electric or gas space heaters operate at extremely high temperatures. They should never be left unattended. Remember, a space heater is just that -- it heats a small amount of space. So take care not to use it in place of a centralized heating system.

Jump Ducts Increase Energy Efficiency

 Jump ducts are an increasingly popular method for improving the energy efficiency of homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems. They address the critical issues of equalizing air pressure in various parts of the home and of handling return air.

When managing the heating and cooling flow within any building, it is challenging to ensure that air moving into rooms equals the air moving out of rooms and back space-conditioning system. If more air enters than exits the room, the air pressure in the room increases and exceeds the pressure outside it. Without balanced air pressure, energy efficiency decreases as conditioned air escapes through the building envelope, through unplanned routes such as leaky windows or around electric outlets.

Houses have traditionally used a very distributed means of handling return air, according to Duncan Prahl, an architect and research manager with architecture and engineering consulting firm IBACOS, which conducts research for the U.S. Department of Energy's "Building America" program.

"Historically contractors would try to take return air from every room," Duncan says. "They would use wall cavities or floor cavities and connect them in a convoluted way to the return air system of a building. Research has found that is a very inefficient way of handling return air. It's leaky, and it draws in outside air because cavities are typically connected to the outside."

Jump ducts are a way to avoid the highly distributed, leak-plagued traditional means of handling return air. Duncan explains that one central return in the main body of the house reduces the cost of HVAC and provides effective air flow. Jump ducts handle return air from rooms that can be isolated by closing doors; the jump ducts move air from the room to the hallway and ultimately to the central return air duct. "Jump ducts are a best practice," he adds.

Keeping it simple
With comparable initial costs, jump ducts are relatively simple and more efficient than the traditional method of using building cavities for return air. A grille on the ceiling of the room is connected through ductwork to a grill in the hallway's ceiling. Air exits the room through the jump duct into the hallway, and then moves through the hallway to the main return duct. The simplicity of the system makes leaks less likely.

But what about noise and light following the same pathway in and out of a room? Duncan recommends the use of insulated flexible duct, which muffles sound. And although a jump duct can be as short as three feet, Duncan recommends a length of six to eight feet to help prevent light pollution, as well as to further dampen noise moving between a room and the hallway. Low-cost stamped-metal grilles are typically used to provide a finished look on the ceiling. Duncan adds that those with a net free area of greater than 80% may increase the ease with which air passes through the jump duct.

Duncan says that while builders should use jump ducts in any new home with a forced-air HVAC system, retrofitting existing homes may not be cost-effective. However, if a home's occupants experience problems related to return air, such as extreme inefficiency, dampness or other comfort problems, jump ducts are worth considering. It is relatively straightforward to gain access to the space above the bedrooms and hall, and a central return can be accommodated in the main space of the house.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing organization.

We welcome all people to join us as we build simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with those who lack adequate shelter.

Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 175, 000 houses, providing shelter for nearly 900,000 people worldwide. Now at work in 100 countries, we are building a house every 26 minutes. By 2005, Habitat houses will be sheltering 1 million people.

Local Habitat affiliates coordinate house building and select partner families.

Habitat houses are purchased by the homeowner families. Three factors make the houses affordable to low-income people worldwide:

  • Houses are sold at no profit, with no interest
    charged on the mortgage
  • Homeowners and volunteers build the houses
    under trained supervision
  • Individuals, corporations, faith groups and others
    provide financial support

Homeowner families are chosen according to their need; their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage; and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat. Habitat for Humanity does not discriminate according to race, religion or ethnic group.


Doctors Without Borders 
What is Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières?

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries.

Each year, MSF volunteer doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other medical and non-medical professionals depart on more than 3,800 aid missions. They work alongside more than 22,500 locally hired staff to provide medical care.

In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children, and offers mental health care. When needed, MSF also constructs wells and dispenses clean drinking water, and provides shelter materials like blankets and plastic sheeting.

Through longer-term programs, MSF treats patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, and HIV/AIDS, and provides medical and psychological care to marginalized groups such as street children.

MSF was founded in 1971 as a nongovernmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and bear witness publicly to the plight of the people it assists. A private nonprofit association, MSF is an international network with sections in 19 countries.

Responding to Emergencies

MSF is often one of the first humanitarian organizations to arrive at the scene of an emergency. Its large-scale logistical capacity ensures that MSF emergency teams hit the ground with the specialized medical kits and equipment they need to start saving lives immediately.

Custom-designed by MSF for specific field situations, geographic conditions, and climates, a kit may contain a complete operating room, for example, or all of the supplies needed to treat hundreds of cholera patients. MSF kits and medical protocols have been replicated by relief organizations worldwide.

MSF has proven expertise in the field of epidemiology and is often called on to monitor, diagnose, and control outbreaks of diseases, such as cholera, meningitis, and measles.

Independent Humanitarian Action

MSF's decision to intervene in any country or crisis is based solely on an independent assessment of people's needs — not on political, economic, or religious interests. MSF does not take sides or intervene according to the demands of governments or warring parties.

MSF volunteers frequently work in the most remote or dangerous parts of the world. When crises unfold, they make themselves and their skills available on short notice, usually dedicating six to twelve months to each assignment. Their expenses are covered and they receive a modest stipend.

MSF teams are composed of international volunteers and skilled local staff. Together, they work closely with national medical professionals and cooperate with other aid organizations.

Speaking Out to End Suffering

MSF unites direct medical care with a commitment to speaking out against the causes of suffering and the obstacles to providing effective assistance. MSF volunteers raise the concerns of their patients with governments, the United Nations, other international bodies, the general public, and the media. In a wide range of circumstances, MSF volunteers have spoken out against violations of international humanitarian law they have witnessed — from Chechnya to Sudan.

Based on its field experience, MSF is addressing obstacles preventing people in the developing world from obtaining affordable, effective treatments for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Through its Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, MSF is advocating to lower drug prices, stimulate research and development of new treatments, and overcome trade and other barriers to accessing treatments.

In the United States and worldwide, MSF raises public awareness of the plight of people at risk. The organization sends field volunteers and staff to speak at international and national conferences, and arranges informational events and traveling exhibitions. Special public education projects have addressed the stark realities of living without access to medicines, the devastation caused by malnutrition, and the hardships of life in a refugee camp.