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Helios NW Eco: A Net Zero Vacation Home

Posted by Suchi Rudra

Sep 12, 2014 6:16:00 PM

WHEN SARAH AND HER HUSBAND (surnames withheld) purchased what is now the Helios Eco-House in Bend, Oregon, the primary goal was to achieve LEED standards. But after doing much research, the biotech and engineer couple discovered that “if you’re willing to go a little further, it’s really painless to go net zero.”
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Topics: net-zero energy, 1600 to 2500 square feet, Green Landscaping, LEED, solar, standing seam metal roof, water conservation, zero-VOC, radiant heating systems, Low-E Window glazing

Conscious Compound

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 8, 2014 6:38:57 PM

HERE'S SOMETHING you don’t see every day: an “aging in place” multiple unit housing project with sustainability front and center.

This urban project in downtown Santa Barbara, CA, takes to heart architect Ed Mazria’s 2030 Challenge goal of carbon neutrality. Built in two phases, and certified LEED-H Platinum, it began with the teardown of an 1887 Victorian house, and its replacement with a state-of-the-art 2,520-sq. ft. home. The new structure captures some of the essence of the original home, but is extremely airtight and well built. The combination of spray foam and external Tyvek ThermaWrap reduces air infiltration (ACH 50) to .96 (better than the most stringent LEED standards).

The second phase called for construction of a 5,100-sq. ft. three-unit condominium, designed in a Spanish style. This condo was built using the same framing and insulation materials as the single-family home, and it also achieves super energy efficiency. The team had intended to build both structures with SIPs, but seismic concerns resulted in a change to 2”x6” framing with spray foam and thermal wrap.

The addition of parking lifts not only allowed for more vehicles—it conserved valuable square footage for living, so that the architect was able to squeeze an additional living unit out of the plan. Less driveway also made possible communal gardens in between the buildings.
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Topics: Green Landscaping, LEED, housewrap, spray foam insulation, edible gardens

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

Subtle Masterpiece

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Dec 1, 2013 5:18:00 PM

2013 Green Home of the Year Awards 
Grand Overall Winner - Santa Ynez, Calif.

This home's smart, low-tech approach to efficiency took home the gold.

SIMPLICITY WON OVER the judges to make Dreamtime Farm, Santa Ynez, Calif., this year’s Grand Overall  Green Home of the Year Award Winner. Architect and judge Hank Krzysik called the home “simple, clean, energy-efficient.” Builder and judge Michael Ginsburg said the home was “simple, straightforward and understandable.” Judge and energy expert Robert Bulechek lauded its features: “net-zero, graywater with solar hydronic.”

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Topics: net-zero energy, California, bathroom, 1600 to 2500 square feet, Green Landscaping, kitchen, passive solar, solar hot water, straw bale, outdoor living, Chain of Custody Certification, EPA Burn Wise, natural ventilation, natural daylighting, AquaPEX, FSC Certified Lumber, LED Lighting, 2013 Green Home of the Year Awards, Recycled Products

Natural Synergy

Posted by Cati O'Keefe

Dec 1, 2013 12:53:00 PM

Green Home of the Year Awards 2013
Best Exterior Integration - Sonoma, Calif.

This LEED platinum house boasts roof gardens and thoughtful landscaping.

FARM HOUSE VERNACULAR and chicken coops were the design inspiration for the 3,960-square-foot, two-story home. Covered walkways, gardens and a pool link the simple gabled structures into a family compound.

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Topics: Geothermal Heating and Cooling, graywater, California, Green Landscaping, LEED, 1500 square feet or less, solar hot water, straw bale, Low Flow Faucets, natural daylighting, green roof, 2013 Green Home of the Year Awards, rainwater harvesting


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