Sutton Knob’s Pavilion is “Going Green”
by Allison Taylor of Skillful Solutions
Ryan Jacques, owner of Going Green Builders and a fourth generation builder, is dedicated to building environmentally friendly homes and structures. “Basically, I just want to build the healthiest, most energy efficient home I can, within the budget my client gives me,” says Jacques. Going Green Builders is behind the design and building of the pavilion in the green space at Sutton Knob, and Jacques appreciates that it will be enjoyed for years to come by all of the homeowners and vacationing guests. Jacques exudes excitement when sharing details about his projects, “The pavilion will feature all Sustainable Forestry Certified Lumber from local sources, and a metal roof made from approximately 30% to 60% recycled material. It will house ten picnic tables – and the developer hired the carpentry class of Rosman High School to build them, as he believes in investing in the local economy and supporting local education.”
After starting Going Green Builders in 2008, Jacques became the first builder in Transylvania County to get the “LEED AP” designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. He is also “Build It Green” Certified through the National Home Builders Association. “What I love about this whole project at Sutton Knob is the care that has been taken in maintaining green space and hiking trails for all of the homeowners and guests to use, as well as the efforts the grading and landscape contractors have taken to minimize erosion and keep sediment from making its ways in to the nearby rivers and streams,” enthuses Jacques.
In addition to the pavilion, Going Green Builders is also working on plans for what will likely be the forth vacation home in the Sutton Knob. According to Jacques, “This home will have an awesome mountain feel, superior indoor air quality, and will be “Green Built Certified” through the Western North Carolina Green Building Council.” When building any new project, Jacques has the goal of minimizing the impact to the local environment by choosing a location that requires the least amount of clearing, installing the septic system in an area to optimize the view (which requires less tree removal overall), and sawing the trees that do have to come down into usable lumber for furniture pieces or other home decoration. “People think that ‘Green Building’ is more expensive than traditional building,” says Jacques, “But, it is actually quite the opposite because of all the savings accomplished by using reclaimed or repurposed materials, and by the decreased utility bills through increased energy efficiencies.” Going Green Builders also exceeds the minimum building codes for insulation to minimize heating and cooling energy, uses low flow toilets and fixtures to conserve water, and can prepare a home for the addition of solar panels in the future, if they are not an economically feasible option during the building process.
Another key focus of Jacques’ green building approach is in the indoor air quality, especially after having a a two year old son diagnosed with Leukemia years ago (after chemo and a bone marrow transplant, he’s luckily been cancer-free for 12 years now!). Doctors couldn’t explain what cause the Leukemia, other than that it might have been triggered by chemicals in the environment. “Improving indoor air quality can result in healthier homeowners, which also means fewer medical bills,” adds Jacques, “and we can do this by using plywoods and insulations that do not off-gas, using low or no VOC finishes, pre-installing Radon Gas control provisions, and installing ERV (Energy Recovering Ventilator) systems that constantly circulate fresh air through the house.”
When not building, Jacques enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary – who was also his high school sweetheart – and their four children, ages 5 through 16. He and his wife both have been coaching their kids soccer teams for the past ten years, and when they’re not doing something soccer-related, they also enjoy hiking and biking.
Check back in the next few weeks as we hope to release a timelapse video of the construction of the Pavillion at Sutton Knob that is currently under construction by Ryan Jacques and Going Green Builders.