Responsible Resource Use

Responsible Resource use is about using long lasting products and materials from renewable and recycled sources. This practice reduces up front fossil fuel usage associated with manufacturing and transportation. Sunrise Builders Inc. accomplishes this by using lumber that is sustainably harvested; many engineered wood components, high performance fixtures, and as many recycled products as possible. Even in our residential developments, the street widths are narrowed to use less paving, therefore less impervious area to create storm water runoff. This proper sizing of streets minimizes the construction of drainage structures and the amount of water they have to process. Looking at the big picture, this design discipline uses less products and therefore less energy in the manufacture and transportation of the materials .

Engineered Wood Components are manufactured from recycled wood products or small fast growing trees. For example our structural sheathing OSB comes from small diameter aspen or softwood trees grown right here in the upper Midwest. Another good example is the I-Joist engineered floor joist system we have used for over 15 years. These are stronger, lighter and much more consistent and dependable than the solid sawn lumber used in the past. As a result we can achieve greater spans and have improved the flexibility of our home designs.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood that is harvested from lands that are responsible managed for environmental, social and economically sustainability. FSC is a global third party certifier that allows logging companies all over the world to receive a market premium for proving they are suing the best practices. FSC has made major inroads against illegal logging practices in some of the most sensitive natural areas in third world developing countries. This partnership with the major timber companies is becoming very successful in stopping those practices and educating the public about responsible purchasing. Our hardwood flooring for example must have this certification whether it’s a native or exotic species. We believe strongly in this process and wherever possible try to use FSC certified framing lumber as well as finish millwork.

Composite/Recycled Materials combine cement, plastics, and wood fibers that with high tech binders result in products with superior performance. The most well-known is our use of “Trex” decking products that require little or no maintenance and last virtually forever. Our exterior trim “Azek” is another fine example that holds paint three times longer than wood and resists moisture, saving maintenance and expense over the years as well.

Water Efficiency While many fixtures today are mandated by code to be water efficient such as flow reducing valves on faucets and shower valves, low flush toilets and such, we’ve taken it a step farther. The prime example is our use of tank-less water heaters which we converted almost exclusively to over five years ago in all our homes and condos. These outperform conventional water tank heaters by cutting fuel usage by one third while providing endless hot water on demand, instead of heating your water 24/7. The additional up-front costs of these generally are recovered in three years or less.