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

2030 Challenge

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 28, 2014 5:52:00 PM

WE WANTED TO DO A project that went the whole distance in every category,” notes builder Faren Dancer. “Santa Fe has adopted the 2030 challenge—which says we need to get to zero emissions in new homes by 2030. Our intention was to show that it can be achieved now.”

Read More

An Historic Home Goes Green

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 13, 2014 11:23:00 AM

JOSEPH BENNETT, an architect based in Austin, Texas, completely remodeled his own 1917 bungalow, transforming it into a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home. The remodel earned Silver LEED and Austin Energy Green Building 5 Star certifications; the bungalow’s HERS rating is 55.

Read More

New Florida

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

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.   Read More