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Enduring Appeal

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Nov 7, 2014 2:08:46 PM

PIONEERS IN THE Nebraska Sandhills lacked trees and even good sod for home construction, so they used the material they had widely available: straw bales. A revival of this building method is underway, with homebuilders seeking the desirable qualities of these highly insulated, attractive and renewable homes.

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Topics: straw bale, energy efficiency

Streamlined Green

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Nov 3, 2014 3:12:07 PM

WHEN RICKY CAPPE, a green building consultant, wanted to build a home on a modest budget, he started wondering how someone could build an affordable sustainable home. He found it impractical for each homebuilder to hire an architect and research the myriad of options on the market. He found the process very time consuming and expensive, which inspired him to create sustainable, affordable kit houses.

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Topics: SIPs, natural daylighting, energy efficiency, FSC Certified Lumber

The Log Home, Redux

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Oct 22, 2014 2:17:00 PM

ARBORWALL BRINGS LONG-LASTING, energy-efficient log homes with a contemporary look to the custom-built home market. Based in northern Maine, the company pairs solid log construction with a state-of-the-art precision custom manufacturing process that avoids human error and saves time on the construction site.
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Topics: energy efficiency, Resilient Housing

Energy Smarts

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 4, 2014 2:31:12 PM

JUST OUTSIDE SAVANNAH on an organic farm developed for a new zero-energy lifestyle sits a modular home that produces as much energy as it uses. The home was built in a factory, which reduced resource use, kept costs in check, and expedited the schedule.

The house, dubbed iHouse by Clayton Homes, the company that designed and built it, offers a host of sustainable features, but it was the house’s energy efficiency that attracted Charles Davis, president of The Earth Comfort Company.

He built an iHouse for himself, which also serves as a model home. He handled all the site work and added a geothermal heat pump and 3kW PV panels. 

“I chose the house for its thermal envelope,” Davis explains. “I tell everyone if you start with good, tight envelope then you need less geothermal and solar. I put just enough solar on my house to cover peak usage.” He takes advantage of Georgia Power’s reduced rates for off-peak power use by, for example, charging his Chevy Volt at night for 1 cent per kWH. And he uses an energy monitor connected to his iPhone to monitor the energy use of each appliance in his home. “The most important green product is the energy monitor, which allows you to see the actual wattage by each appliance and number of watts of power produced by the solar panels, and the number of watts sold back to Georgia Power,” Davis says.

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Topics: solar, energy efficiency, electric vehicle charging, home automation, renewable energy, 2011 Green Home of the Year Awards

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


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