Build environment friendly because it’s the right thing to do.

At Taggart Construction, we strive to tread lightly on the earth. Where you build your new home or addition can impact old tree growth or wildlife habitat. Proper site location will also maximize solar options and take advantage of available views. Our job as your design/build team is to help you make informed decisions when selecting land and siting your project.

While designing buildings that reflect your lifestyle, are energy efficient and built to last, we select materials that have a low “embodied energy;” the energy used to create and transport products.

  • Using products manufactured in the state of Maine, reduces fuel consumption
  • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, selectively harvested wood ensures forests are sustainably managed
  • Engineered lumber makes better use of the whole log
  • Using recycled content and selected materials generates the most efficient yield

Taggart Construction building materials include environment friendly alternatives. Formaldehyde-free products, low-VOC paints and Dense-Pac cellulose insulation made from recycled newspaper are examples of advanced products that will improve your home and benefit the environment. A Taggart home has the right stuff.

Advanced Framing Techniques

Advanced framing techniques create structurally sound buildings. Lumber is replaced with insulation material to improve thermal resistance or R-value (defined as resistance to heat flow). Advanced framing:

  • Requires less framing lumber
  • Maximizes the area for insulation in the wall assembly
  • Reduces thermal bridging through the framing members
  • Cuts material waste
  • Trims job site waste
  • Decreases labor costs
  • Increases cost savings through energy efficiency

Engineered Lumber

Engineered lumber is manufactured by bonding together wood strands, veneers or other forms of wood fiber to produce a composite unit that is stronger and stiffer than the sum of its parts; and it creates less waste by using more of the tree. Cost effective, high performance engineered lumber resists shrinking, crowning, twisting and warping. Other benefits include:

  • Resource use reduction
  • Recycled content
  • Improved thermal performance
  • Material waste reduction
  • Labor savings

Framing Components

Framing components are pre-cut and pre-built to plan specifications using specialized design software and are made from materials offering high-quality performance. Using framing components results in:

  • Resource use reduction
  • Less jobsite waste
  • Labor savings

Electric Crane for Sensitive Site Work

Cranes or other equipment are used to facilitate the handling and placement of structural components such as panelized wall sections, beams, columns, plywood, etc. during the framing phase of construction. The use of an electric crane reduces site impact.

  • Minimizes the footprint of disturbance
  • Lessens compaction of surrounding soils
  • Minimizes erosion on a sensitive site
  • Reduces the carbon footprint of a project when compared to a similar project using equipment fueled by diesel

Water-Based, Rubberized Foundation Coating

Water-based, rubberized foundation coating:

  • Does not leach toxins into soil
  • Make a building water-proof vs damp-proof
  • Reduces mold potential, better IAQ (indoor air quality)
  • Extends life of building

Greener Mechanical Systems

Choosing “greener” mechanicals reduces the impact on the environment. ABS pipe is black rigid thermoplastic pipe used to drain sinks, tubs, showers and toilets. All thermoplastics have the ability to be recycled and re-used. They can be melted and used in new applications or burned for energy. PVC, another rigid pipe material commonly used for the same applications, is dangerous to human health and the environment. When produced or burned, PVC releases synthetic chemicals which can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems. Poisonous off-gassing from PVC creates that new car and new shower curtain smell!

PEX (Poly-expanded styrene) water lines are another greener mechanical choice vs. copper water lines. PEX, a plastic piping, is a reliable, safe, cost-effective, energy conscious building material. Because of its clean, low-energy manufacturing process through delivery, installation and long-term durability, PEX is selected over copper water lines for Taggart building projects.

Recycling Existing Buildings

Recycling existing buildings is the ultimate in resource conservation. Rather then demolish this summer cottage, it was moved to a new location.

Taken down piece by piece with a crane and shipped around Sebago Lake in tractor trailers, this lakeside home was then reassembled on a new foundation. The move was featured in an article in the September 2001 issue of This Old House magazine.

Engineered Floor Systems

Engineered floor systems use less wood fiber than traditional floor systems to achieve the same or better performance. These systems make efficient use of faster growing trees from managed woodlots helping to preserve old growth forests. Glued engineered floor systems are manufactured by bonding together wood strands, veneers, and other wood forms to create floor systems that are

  • Stronger pound for pound, having a greater load-bearing capacity than sawn lumber
  • Straighter
  • Stiffer with less pops and squeaks
  • Require fewer pieces saving on installation and material costs

In addition, engineered flooring can be used in areas where traditional hardwood cannot, such as damp areas or places where the floor would be exposed to radiant heat. When exposed to moisture or radiant heat traditional boards warp or cup; the core of engineered flooring is constructed with the individual ply’s laid in opposite directions ensuring the flooring will not enlarge or shrink when exposed to changes in humidity and heat.

Sustainable Sites

Sustainable building sites minimize the impact on the environment and maximize the efficiency and performance of the structure. Building this home on a reclaimed sandpit did not necessitate the traditional clearing of trees to accommodate construction. The homeowners then allowed the natural meadow surrounding their home to repossess the area. The native vegetation requires less watering than turf, no fertilization and less upkeep. Abundant wildlife shares the natural surroundings with the homeowners.

Low Flow Fixtures

Low flow fixtures reduce water consumption. Low flow toilets use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared to about 3.5 gallons of water used by a standard toilet. Various technologies have been designed to make these toilets more functional including large drain passages, redesigned bowls, compressed air and vacuum pumps. Since low flow faucets reduce hot and cold water usage, an additional benefit is the energy consumption to heat hot water is also reduced. Low flow shower heads use about 2½ gallons of water per minute. Conventional showerheads use four to five gallons of water per minute. Ultimately, low flow faucets can cut the water usage of faucets by as much as 40%. The aerators in low flow faucets and showerheads use high pressure and aeration to produce a comfortable flow.

Metal Roofing with Recycled Content

A metal roof is composed of steel or aluminum containing high percentages of recycled content. In many aluminum products, the recycled content can be as high as 100%. Besides being attractive, available in a variety of colors, lightweight and durable, another advantage is that they are easily recycled post-use.

a Taggart Construction, passive solar house

Passive Solar Design

Passive solar design is when the windows, walls, and floors in a home are designed to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. A passive solar home design requires the following 5 elements:

  1. Aperture – glass window areas where sunlight enters the building. The apertures should face within 30 degrees of true south and should not be shaded by buildings or trees during the heating season.
  2. Absorber – a hard, dark surface such as a masonry wall or floor or a water container that sits in the direct path of sunlight and absorbs sunlight as heat.
  3. Thermal mass – materials that store the heat produced by sunlight. The absorber and thermal mass are often the same wall or floor, however, the absorber is the exposed surface. The thermal mass is the material below the surface.
  4. Distribution – passive solar design uses conduction, convection, and radiation to circulate absorbed and stored heat to different areas. Fans, ducts and blowers may help circulation.
  5. Control – roof overhangs, blinds and awnings are used to shade apertures during summer months. Thermostats that signal fans to turn on and vents that allow or restrict heat flow, are also control elements.

Each element performs a separate function, but all five work together in a successful passive solar design.

Rainscreen Wall System

To minimize rainwater intrusion into walls, rain screen wall systems shed most of the rain. This prolongs the life of siding.

  • The exterior cladding of the rain screen deters surface rain.
  • An airspace separates the cladding from the support wall. Protected openings at the top and bottom of the wall promote airflow, reducing moisture transfer. Moisture quickly drains or evaporates.
  • The exterior of the support wall is protected with a drainage layer to stop moisture that bypasses the cladding and airspace.
  • A rigid, airtight, water-resistant support wall completes the rain wall system.

Rain screens withstand extreme environments and appear to be effective in any climate.

Solar Panels

Available just about anywhere on the earth, solar energy is a renewable resource; and it is free. Sunlight converts to electricity using solar or photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are most often made of silicon, have no movable parts, contain no liquid or corrosive chemicals and seldom require maintenance. They run silently and do not pollute while generating power.

To absorb the maximum amount of energy, Maine PV systems should point south and be inclined at an angle equal to latitude. PV modules should not be shaded by trees or buildings. Weather data provides average monthly sunlight levels tied to rainfall, cloudy days, altitude, etc. Systems are sized for the worst month annually to produce sufficient electricity all year. When the sun is not shining there are two choices. One option is battery storage for the solar energy produced, which adds cost and maintenance. If being totally energy independent is not required, option two connects the home to the utility grid. When excess power is produced, the utility company credits the owner for the surplus and applies these credits when additional power is purchased.

Sustainable Cabinetry

The availability of “green” products is expanding to meet demand. Research into the origin of materials, the method of harvest, the chemicals used during manufacturing and the subsequent impact on workers and the community should be considered when selecting sustainable products. The Design Studio at Taggart Construction displays many environment friendly cabinetry options such as FSC-certified wood products, Dakota Burl, Europly, Kirea Board, Plyboo, plantation grown mahogany, along with cork and bamboo flooring. It is truly amazing to see natural materials, such as sorghum stalks and sunflower seed hulls, turned into beautiful alternatives to virgin timber.

Rainwater Recycling

Rainwater is clean and chlorine-free. And delivery is free! Rain barrels and roof collection systems are great ways to reduce water consumption, lessening the strain on municipal systems especially during dry spells. Rainwater is often used to water lawns and gardens. Non-potable, not intended for drinking, water can also be used to fill swimming pools, wash cars, etc. Using rainwater reduces groundwater consumption. Collecting rainwater reduces storm water runoff which ultimately helps to alleviate erosion and flooding.