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Tips on Designing a Green Home: An Interview with Nathan Remitz of Patera

By Nathan Remitz

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Patera is a full service Architectural and Engineering firm serving South Eastern Wisconsin and surrounding areas. We focus on attention to detail with superior customer satisfaction. Patera specializes in all aspects of building design with an emphasis on Commercial Construction, Restaurants, Retail, Condominiums & Apartments, Custom Homes and Remodeling projects. Our dedicated design staff can assist from conceptual design through project construction supervision.

What are some of the biggest decisions that someone needs to make when it comes to the design of their new home?

Designing a new home can be a fun and exciting process, or a huge nightmare. Important design decisions need to be determined early on in the process, in order to achieve an end result that homeowners will be proud to show. Construction budget, home style and finished square footage just a few of the items to be determined early on. It is also very important to review local zoning and subdivision design requirements for compliance. Homeowners also need to establish a "wish list" from a "need list". Often times people wish to have x y and z in their home but don't understand the cost or design implications associated with those wishes. At Patera, we have the experience to help establish if the wish list is feasible

Can you briefly explain a few features of a green home?

Today's "Green Home" can mean various things to different people,Typically a Green Home utilizes environmentally renewable and local resources. They are energy efficient and healthy for the occupants and the environment. Careful consideration must be taken for the life cycle of the home from determining the best resources to utilize for construction all the way through where those same materials will end up when the home is renovated or demolished in the distant future.

What are some of the misconceptions you've come across about designing a green home?

Many people have the misconceived idea that designing a green home is an expensive undertaking or requires a certain style of home. This is not the case whatsoever as green building concepts are utilized all the time in the construction process. Simple design steps such as energy star rated appliances, value framing details to minimize waste, and advanced insulating techniques and products all help to minimize a home's energy usage while maintaining important architectural characteristics and style.

What are a few of the most in-demand green features for custom homes in Wisconsin?

In the Wisconsin climate, homes experience a wide range of temperature variations from below zero in winter, up to nearly 100 in the summer. This creates a double edge sword that homeowners must plan for extreme cold and heat in a home's design. Typically this is handled by superior insulating techniques, careful home orientation and placement on the site, as well as attention to sun orientation. Solar panels or Geo-thermal heating can be a great fit for the right home on the appropriate location as well. For well over a decade, the Staff of Patera have been designing homes for this type of climate and are well accustomed to designing the best details to fit any budget.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Patera can be reached by phone or email. Tell us a little bit about your project and the best project manager for your needs will be assigned to you. They will follow your project from concept to completion to ensure quality, efficiency, and satisfaction.

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