Collier Construction News
A Note From Ethan: "It's Why We Build, Not What We Build"
By Ethan Collier | March 19, 2008
I am often asked what kind of construction Collier Construction does, and for as many times as I have been asked and as many times I have answered, every time I struggle. There is one part of me that wants to quickly answer that we are a residential builder, and I think in most cases that is true. Another part of me loves to say we do commercial. We do commercial renovation and custom interior build outs; I always enjoy telling people one of our first projects was the Knitting Mill Antiques on Manufactures road. And I have always enjoyed that we do these amazing remodels and additions. I tell people that is how we got our start, and it’s still a big part of what we do.
Likewise, I want to tell people we are green but not because it’s the cool thing, rather because we build so differently than everyone else. And I love to tell folks we are custom. I am proud that we work closely with people to build their dream home. I like using the words high end—I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds good, and saying it makes me feel “high end.” While we do build some really expensive homes, there is another part of me that wants to say the words “affordable housing.” We build that as well—stuff that most anybody could afford. I love telling folks that we have all our own carpenters and that we’re not just another paper contractor. And finally, I always throw in that we still do very, very small jobs like a screen door, a roof leak or jacking up some sagging floors in an old home.
Meanwhile, in the last year we have built our first Dock, and we have also built all of the solid Oak Furniture in Jason and Don’s offices. We have built timber frame structures, Sips panel structures, concrete structures, and we have even built an entire front porch roof out of cedar logs. We have built barns, docks, garages, restaurants, additions, decks, pools, basements, pavilions and even some really amazing homes.
I think you can see why this would be a tough question to answer. What it all boils down to is that we love to build. It does not matter to us so much what we build but why we build it. We love the science behind what makes houses work the way they do. We love the art of taking an Architect’s rendering and making it a real structure for people to live in and enjoy. At Collier Construction, we love learning new systems and mastering them (like a Dock on the lake or SIP’s home on the Southside). And I think most of all we love working for people. We believe that our ultimate job is customer service, to build in such a way that our current customers and future generations will appreciate what we have done. We started six years ago replacing a screen door on lookout mountain, I don’t know what we’ll be doing six years from now but whatever it is, we will be loving it.
Breaking Ground: Back To Nature
By Cathy Collier | March 19, 2008
Our featured project this month takes us to the Cumberland Plateau Region, and the Preserve at Rising Fawn, Georgia. A twenty five mile drive from Chattanooga leads to approximately 2800 acres of pristine nature nestled in the shadow of surrounding mountains. The Preserve provides a breathtaking panorama for those looking to connect with their environment. Collier Construction is pleased to have been chosen to build the community campus with in this developing gated residential community. Breaking ground this month on a Louis Wamp designed plan that will include a fitness center, game room, pavilion and outdoor dining, swimming pool and pool deck, tennis courts, children’s playground and a cascading water garden.
By Cathy Collier | March 19, 2008
When we talk about living, designing or building green we often times assume by now everyone knows what we mean. Green is a term now widely used to describe buildings designed and constructed with minimal negative impact on the environment and with an emphasis on conservation of resources, energy efficiency, and healthful interior spaces. While navigating your way through making building changes big or small we hope this glossary of “green” acronyms and terms serves as clarification and definition.
BFR Brominated flame retardants
BTU British thermal units
CFL Compact Fluorescent Lamp
CWMP Construction Waste Management Plan
EPP Environmental preferable purchasing
EPR Extended producer responsibility
ETV Environmental technology verification
GMO Genetically Modified Organism
LCA Life cycle analysis
LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
LED Light emitting diode
MSDS Material safety data sheet
P2 Pollution Prevention
PBT Persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic
PVC Polyvinyl chloride
TAC Toxic air contaminant
VOC Volatile organic compound
vPvB Very persistent or very bioaccumulative
Bakeout – A process used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in a building by operating a building’s HVAC systems at elevated temperatures using 100 percent outside air after all the furniture and finishes have been installed.
Biomass - An energy resource derived from organic matter such as wood, agricultural waste and other living cell material.
Bioremediation – The use of natural biological processes (microbes, bacteria, plants, etc.) to break down contaminants and restore contaminated land back to productive use.
Carbon Neutral – A scenario where the net discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is zero. Carbon neutrality can be achieved by planting enough trees so that CO2 absorption by the plants. Carbon neutral is also referred to as “net zero carbon”.
Embodied Energy – Total energy used to create a product, including the energy used in mining or harvesting, processing, fabricating, and transporting the product.
Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) – The total cost of acquiring, owning, operating and disposing of a building or building system over its entire useful life. LCC includes the cost of land acquistition, construction costs, energy costs, the cost to maintain, service and repair to the building and its systems, costs of system replacement, financing costs, and residual or salvage value at the end of the building’s useful life.
Low-e Glass – Low-e (Low emissivity) glass has an invisible thin-film metallic or oxide coating which allows the passage of short-wave solar energy into a building but prevents long-wave energy produced by heating systems and lighting from escaping outside.
Orientation – The position of a building relative to the points of a compass. Energy consumption in a building can be reduced by proper orientation of the building’s window areas.
Photovoltaic Cell – A device that converts sunlight directly into electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are silicon-based semiconductors and are often referred to as solar cells. PV cells were developed in the mid-1950’s and have become cost effective where it is difficult to extend conventional power lines. PV cells are often used for remote motorist call aid boxes, irrigation systems and navigational lights.
R-Value – A unit of thermal resistance. A material’s R-value is a measure of the effectiveness of the material in stopping the flow of heat through it. The higher a material’s R-value, the greater its insulating properties and the slower the heat flow through it.
By Cathy Collier | March 19, 2008
Next month Collier Construction will be turning 6 years old. We are excited about this anniversary and would like to invite you to celebrate with us. By volunteering to have a Collier Construction sign placed in your yard for the month of April you will be helping us celebrate your project and the relationship we have with one another. Our motivation is twofold. Our first goal is to communicate that Collier Construction has been around for awhile. The second is to say that we enjoyed working with you on your project. We expect this effort to be a whole lot of fun and hope you’ll consider helping us. If you are interested in volunteering, simply reply to this email, write “put me on the map”. Thank you.