Options for Community Living

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 2, 2016 12:11:08 PM

This renovated 1,436-square-foot 1970s ranch earns a HERS score of 40—lower than most new builds.

When most people think efficiency, they think of newly built houses. In this case, the United Way of Long Island Housing Development Corporation completely renovated a 1,436-square-foot, three-bedroom 1970s ranch in Patchogue, N.Y., on Long Island. The home now earns a HERS score of 40—a lower score than most new builds.

Read More

Affordable, High-Performance House: Lauren Gardens

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 23, 2016 1:05:37 PM

The 1,270-square-foot home includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms on one level and achieves a HERS score of 51.

Habitat for Humanity is working to provide low-income families with energy-efficient housing. South Sarasota Habitat, its affiliate in Venice, Fla., is constructing all new homes according to specifications in the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program. By moving into an energy-efficient building, low-income residents can save on utility bills, improve their health and safety and see long-term affordability with lower maintenance costs, according to the DOE.

Read More

Affordable, High-Performance Building: The McKinley Project

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 18, 2016 11:31:48 AM

This 1,594-square-foot, two-story home receives a HERS score of 26.

In Garland, Texas, a public-private partnership built a 1,594-square-foot, two-story home for a husband and wife, both of whom are military veterans, and their two young children. The home is a product of Carl Franklin Homes and the Green Extreme Homes Community Development Corporation, as well as a number of other local and national organizations.

Read More

Fine Footprint

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 20, 2016 6:50:39 PM

Built to withstand tough New England storms, this custom home also achieves a -23 HERS Index score.

THIS TRADITIONAL LOOKING New England home was designed by homeowners Elizabeth Wegner and Carl Benker with three goals in mind: durability, energy efficiency and health. The home reflects the couple’s desire to substantially reduce their negative environmental impact on the world. It was built by Glastonbury Housesmith, which constructed the first LEED certified Gold house in Connecticut.  The house was constructed to meet the most up-to-date residential building codes (2012 IRC, 2012 IECC) rather than those which are required in the state. The most notable requirements of the new codes are a stronger structure to withstand high hurricane winds and exterior insulation outside of the wall sheathing to prevent condensation—and subsequently, mold and/or rot—within the walls. An Uponor fire sprinkler system was also integrated with the domestic cold water plumbing.

Read More

Future Proof: Good Building Science Leads to Net Zero

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 4, 2014 1:46:37 PM

"FROM THE OUTSET we designed this house to maximize south facing roof space,” notes architect Bruce Coldham. “We modeled the site digitally, and look at trees and sun angles. From the get-go full on solar power was the first priority.”

Wright Builders of Northampton, Mass., framed the house with double 2” x 4” walls, a decision influenced by Building America’s years of research on wall efficiency. Coldham says most of the homes his firm designs now—even affordable ones—are framed this way, with either double 4” studs or with 2” x 6” studs that have a layer of rigid foam acting as a thermal break on the home’s exterior.

This house is exceptional by any standards, in part because the team conducted blower door tests at intervals during construction, using a theatrical smoke machine to help pinpoint unwanted air infiltration.
“Buildings are gonna last a long time,” notes Coldham. “But if you build like this you don’t have to try to predict when energy costs will rise.  You’ve already sealed the envelope completely. That way when costs do rise—which is inevitable—these owners will be ready.” Read More