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Wolff Waters Place: Affordable Multi-Family Housing

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 24, 2014 1:11:41 PM

ASK CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Brian Peulicke what he thinks is most remarkable about 218-unit multifamily project Wolff Waters Place, and he’ll describe how it blends into its country club community where it is located. “I think as a whole it is beautiful. You would never think of it as affordable.” The units are one to four bedrooms, rent from about $400–$1,000, serving lower income families.
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Topics: LEED, water conservation, affordable housing, multi-family

Good Neighbor

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 11, 2014 3:35:53 PM

THIS SHOWCASE MODEL home sits in an eight-house infill neighborhood in Chevy Chase, Md., and blends well with the other new homes the company has built there as well as the surrounding established homes. Designed to let potential buyers see firsthand the latest green products, technologies, and building methods, the home is a fusion of Frank Lloyd Wright and Asian styles. Brad Beeson, director of marketing for the builder, Bethesda Bungalows, ticks off the certifications and relevant scores this house has garnered: “It’s LEED Platinum, NAHB Emerald, EPA Indoor AirPLUS, EPA Energy Star for Homes, and earned a 91 Walkscore.” As key, though, is that the house looks like a traditionally designed home, which is important to many consumers, who still equate a green home with a modern-looking structure. The design and building team was able to create this timeless look by choosing sustainable products that offer a traditional look. The roof is Enviroshake, which is a wood-look, 95% recycled product. The siding is LP Smartside engineered wood. Finishing the look is Lifespan FSC-certified Radiata Pine and a garage door with 88% recycled content by Overhead Garage Door. Beeson notes that while the design fits well with the neighborhood, the fact that it’s a hybrid of Bungalow and Asian styles makes it unique. “There’s a high level of craftsmanship in the interior, which you notice when you walk in. You don’t see a ‘green house,’ you see the detail.” Beeson attributes this to good design and detailed specs that ensured everything from the screen walls to the built-in banquette iwere executed perfectly. While the company is pleased with the certifications this home achieved, they believe they have been building houses of this quality before they attempted to get certified. “I think you could look at any of the houses in [the infill neighborhood] and they would have reached some level of certification as well,” Beeson says.
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Topics: LEED

Historic Lookalike Home in Florida Costs Only $150 a Month to Cool

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 7, 2014 11:34:00 AM

THIS HOUSE IN SARASOTA, FLORIDA, WASN'T supposed to be green. In fact, the owner, who requested an energy-efficient house, cautioned: “I don’t want a green house. They look ugly, like a garage. I want a home that is a traditional design.” After some back and forth, the owner told custom home builder Josh Wynne that he could make it as green as he wanted as long as he didn’t have to make any financial or aesthetic sacrifices.
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Topics: LEED, solar, energy efficiency, salvaged materials

High-Tech Window Glazing

Posted by Suchi Rudra

Jul 1, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Windows by the Numbers (and Letters)

There are several ways to measure a window’s performance. Your region’s climate will dictate which factors to favor.

U-factor: This value measures how well the window prevents heat from escaping a building, and takes into account the window’s framing, glazing, weather-stripping and more. The lower the number, the better the performance. Windows with low U-factors work well in cold climates.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This factor measures how well the window blocks radiant heat, on a scale from 0 to 1. The lower the number, the more heat is blocked. Windows with low SHGC value are suitable for hot climates.

Visible Transmittance (VT): This number measures how much sunlight the window allows into the building, on a scale from 0 to 1. A higher VT value means better daylighting.

R-value: This factor measures the window’s resistance to heat loss, or conductance. In general, R-value isn’t the best measure of a window’s total performance.

Low-e Glass: Low emissivity coatings reflect UV and infrared rays, but allow visible sunlight to pass through the glass. These coatings help keep heat out of a building in summer and keep it from escaping in winter.
WHEN IT COMES TO energy efficiency, windows are problematic; they’re essentially holes in an otherwise insulated wall. Glass makes up about 15 percent of the wall space in an average home, and inefficient windows can cost over $700 a year in wasted heating and cooling costs. This loss accounts for approximately 2 percent of all energy consumption in the U.S. Upgrading window products, whether you retrofit or replace, means upgrading building performance and cutting back on hundreds of dollars in energy bills.

Taking the climate zone into consideration is one of the most important factors in selecting the right kind of window product for a new or existing residential construction. Typically, the colder the climate, the lower the U-factor of the window should be. But regardless of region, you also need to control the discrepancy between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the quantity and quality of sunlight and, of course, air leakage.

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Topics: High-Performance Windows, Windows, energy efficient windows, Low-E Window glazing, Building Science

Island Jewel

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 27, 2014 9:42:52 AM

Ellis used the short eaves space upstairs to store a single Geyser heat pump water heater. He needed to provide enough capacity for four bathrooms and an outdoor shower. So the two hot water tanks act as storage and are plumbed in line with the Geyser heat pump providing heat for the system. The heat pump runs on standard 110 volt power. As the systems use ambient hot air to heat water, they blow out colder air, cooling the “outdoor” hallway. Also in this space is the 4.5 ton 16 SEER Trane high-efficiency heat pump that conditions living areas.

PROBABLY THE GREENEST way builder Steve Ellis could have used his island property would have been to continue enjoying it as a festive site for bonfires and camping.

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Topics: 1600 to 2500 square feet, natural daylighting, housewrap, spray foam insulation, salvaged materials, Recycled Products

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