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Campus Crusader

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 26, 2015 9:49:00 AM

IN MARCH 2014, American Honda unveiled Honda Smart Home US, located on the West Village campus of the University of California, Davis. The energy-efficient home can produce enough electricity onsite from renewable sources to meet all of its annual energy demand, including electricity to power a Honda Fit EV for daily commuting.

The home showcases several innovative technologies. In the backyard, eight 20-foot-deep boreholes allow a ground-source heat pump to harness the Earth’s relatively stable thermal sink to provide radiant heating and cooling through the home’s floors and ceiling.

Electricity generated from a 9.5-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array mounted on the roof is intelligently distributed throughout the home’s microgrid by Honda’s home energy management system (HEMS). Honda Smart Home optimizes energy use by taking into account local weather conditions, sun direction and the home’s outer shell. South-facing windows are optimized for heating and cooling, while north-facing windows maximize natural light and ventilation. Double-stud walls, cool roofing material and a fully insulated concrete slab all contribute to the home’s energy efficiency.

Sustainable materials were used throughout the construction process. All lumber was sustainably harvested from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), while advanced framing techniques reduced the amount of material needed. Nearly all (96 percent) of the construction waste associated with the project—including drywall, brick, plastics and lumber—was recycled. Outside, xeriscaping reduces irrigation demand. Besides rain, filtered graywater recycled from the home is the only source of irrigation water.

In addition to showcasing Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living, the home will function as a living laboratory where the company, along with researchers from UC Davis and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), will evaluate new technologies and business opportunities at the intersection of housing, transportation, energy and the environment. In July 2014, Honda released all of the home’s architectural and mechanical plans, as well as building materials, to inspire others to take action.
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Topics: solar, electric vehicle charging, water saving, Sustainable Building Materials, radiant heating systems, LED Lighting, 2014 Green Home of the Year

En Suite Bungalow Bath

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 13, 2014 7:06:00 PM

THE ORIGINAL HOUSE had no bathtub and no closets. However, it did have a full set of stairs leading up to an attic, which Bennett re-designed as a second-floor addition with luxurious green bath.

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Topics: graywater, bathroom, LEED, natural daylighting, water saving, Residential Retrofit, LED Lighting, Texas, dual-flush toilets

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

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

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