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Tiny Houses: Artistic Hideaway

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jun 9, 2014 3:58:00 PM

MOTIVATED TO REDUCE their footprint and their overhead, Kol Peterson and Deb Delman chose a lot in a walkable, bikeable Northeast Portland neighborhood for their Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU.
“The project encompassed a bunch of passions,” says Peterson, who works as Web manager for the Forest Service. Stephen Smith of Design Build Portland acted as general contractor, but Peterson and Delman put in an estimated $15,000 in sweat equity.

Their two-bedroom house measures 799 square feet, but feels much larger, thanks to Studio Eccos designer Brint Riggs’ open plan. The ground level includes a vaulted kitchen, living room nook and a corner office that doubles as a second bedroom. Upstairs, a short bridge connects the master bedroom to the bathroom, and shows off the custom steel railing.

Local artisans added personal touches to the house. Eric Bohne and stained-glass artist David Schlicker collaborated on a stained-glass starburst in a hinged steel frame, which acts as a sound barrier between the master bedroom and the vaulted space. Peterson sourced fixtures from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, flooring from Craigslist, doors from the Rebuilding Center.

Their ADU has been featured on Portland’s Build it Green! (BIG!) Tour two years in a row, and earned an Energy Performance Score of 35. The project came in at just under $100,000; best of all, rental income from the front house now covers the couple’s mortgage.

“I didn’t know a thing about this when we started,” says Peterson, who chronicled the experience in a detailed blog. Last year he began hosting workshops to help people navigate through the process of building their own ADUs.
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Topics: 1500 square feet or less, Energy Recovery Ventilation, energy efficient windows, LED Lighting, Recycled Products

New Florida

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 15, 2014 4:57:00 PM

Florida, one of the fastest growing states, is not known for its green housing. But this LEED Gold home in Winter Park, not far from Orlando, breaks that pattern. Its contemporary design contains many elements familiar in what you might call the “snowbird vernacular” of modern Florida architecture: large expanses of glass, an open floorplan, a back yard lanai, and an open interior with little trim. But unlike so many Florida homes--built to code but no better--nearly every aspect of this home has an energy- or water-saving purpose.  
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Topics: Green Landscaping, LEED, Energy Recovery Ventilation, HERS, 2600 to 3400 square feet, natural daylighting, green roof, 2010 Green Home of the Year Awards, LED Lighting, rainwater harvesting, salvaged materials, Florida, Recycled Products

Flex House

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Apr 7, 2014 2:49:00 PM

Before air conditioning, Floridians looked to tropical breezes and shade aids for indoor comfort. Team Florida has updated “the wisdom of Florida vernacular design with modern technology.”

Durable, adjustable, louvered shutters fabricated from native Florida cypress provide the shade. Some panels glide. Native cypress is naturally resistant to insects and weathering.

Twenty-two photovoltaic panels power the house. Each pair of panels has one micro inverter which the designers explain “will optimize performance so that all panels perform at maximum output, improving the overall efficiency of the array.” The micro inverters allow pairs of panels to be monitored and operate independently.
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Topics: solar, Energy Recovery Ventilation, solar hot water, Solar Decathlon, Florida

Hidden Assets

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 1, 2013 3:14:00 PM

2013 Green Home of the Year Awards
Best Mainstream Green - Thaxton, Va.

This modest home doesn’t shout out its many green virtues, but they’re built into its bones.

WITH A HERS Index of 38, the 1,808-square-foot Specht Home is a certified PHIUS+  Passivhaus,  also built to EarthCraft Virginia standards—“a small ecological footprint” built on a 20-acre site.

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Topics: Super-insulated Envelope, High-Performance Windows, 1600 to 2500 square feet, solar, Energy Recovery Ventilation, solar hot water, Virginia, HERS, Low Flow Faucets, PHIUS+ Passivhaus, Mainstream Green, Passive design, LED Lighting, 2013 Green Home of the Year Awards

Last Stop - Best Aging-In-Place Home - Catlett, VA

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 1, 2012 11:53:00 AM

HOMES SUCH AS this one, by Golden Rule Builders, avoid the ecological impacts of remodeling a home’s cosmetic features to accommodate aging residents, at the same offering low utility and maintenance costs for the life of the structure.

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Topics: Geothermal Heating and Cooling, 3500 to 4900 square feet, Energy Recovery Ventilation, standing seam metal roof, PEX, Low-E Window glazing, 2012 Green Home of the Year Awards, ADA compliant, Paint


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