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Intelligent Design

Nigel Lewis Design
incorporates "intelligent design" using many new products and technologies consistent with a GREEN and healthy lifestyle. The following glossary provides further information related to building materials, energy sources, and technical specifications included in our residential design.

Air Floor: Passive solar heating system designed with a steel baffle system, which enables auxiliary heat to circulate through the sub floor


Carbon Footprint: The total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full lifecycle of a particular product. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and climate change, so reducing carbon footprints is desirable for a healthier earth


Domestic Hardwood: Deciduous trees whose wood is only from the U.S. and where the growth of new trees exceeds the removal rate


Energy Efficient: Products and systems that use less energy to perform as well or better than standard products. While energy-efficient products sometimes have higher upfront costs, they tend to cost less over their lifetime when the cost of energy consumed is factored in


Galvalume Steel Roofing: Sustainable, cold-rolled steel having a thin hot-dipped coating of aluminum, and corrosion resistant zinc


Geothermal: Technology that utilizes the warmth from subsurface water to heat buildings, and it also extracts this heat to put back into the ground for cooling


Green Building: Designed to conserve resources and reduce negative impacts on the environment


Greywater: Wastewater that doesn’t contain contaminates and can then be reused for irrigation after filtration


Indigenous Materials: Building with materials that are produced in an area near to where the construction is taking place. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation


Low-E Windows: Low emissivity windows that reflect heat, not light thereby keeping spaces warmer in winter and cooler in summer


Low-Flow Toilets: Toilets that use less water than traditional units, therefore lowering environmental impact by using water more efficiently


Natural: Materials and ingredients found in nature, with little or no human intervention


No–VOC: Zero volatile organic compounds in paints and finishes. No-VOC paints do not off-gas toxins compared to conventional paints, sealers and finishes. VOC’s are known to cause acute and chronic illnesses


Organics: Products and materials solely made from plants


Ozone/UV Pool Purification: Ozone, which is 100% natural and biodegradable, is used to sanitize the pool and spa. Chlorine is reduced by up to 90%. A powerful, naturally occurring oxidizer, ozone is faster, safer and 200 times more effective than chlorine, killing 99.99% of bacteria, viruses and molds found in pools and spas. A UV generator uses ultraviolet light to convert ordinary oxygen to ozone


Passive Solar Design: Using design methods to capitalize on heat and light from the sun; it reduces the need for electric systems


Photovoltaic: Direct conversion of sunlight into electrical energy by using materials from semiconductor materials. This material does not create any pollution, noise, or other environmental impact


Radiant Heat: Radiates heat from the floor and delivers the heat evenly throughout the rooms reducing energy consumption up to 40%. Tubing is installed in the slab; temperature-controlled water circulates through the tubing and turns the flooring into radiant panels. Radiant heat is less likely to dry out breathing passages and skin. It also eliminates the spread of dust, pollen, germs as found in forced hot air systems


Renewable Energy: Energy harvested from sources that are not depleted when used, they can then replenish themselves over short periods of time causing very low environmental impact (sun, wind, moving water, organic plant, geothermal heat)


Solar: Energy from the sun


Solar Water Heater: Heat from the sun that is absorbed and then transferred by pumps to a storage unit, which is then transported to the hot water of a home through a heat exchanger


Structural Insulated Panels: High performance building panels used in floors, walls, and roofs for residential and light commercial buildings. The panels are typically made by sandwiching a core of rigid foam plastic insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board (OSB). Manufactured under factory-controlled conditions, the result is a building system that is extremely strong and energy efficient


Xerioscope: Landscaping design that accounts for water and energy efficiency yet requires less maintenance by exemplifying good planting, efficient irrigation processes, soil improvement, easily foliage conservation and good maintenance