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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

Builder's First New Green Home is LEED Platinum

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 25, 2014 3:32:47 PM

BRIAN MCCORMICK, OWNER OF MCCORMICK CARPENTRY, spent his career as a remodeler. When the chance to build a new home presented itself, he jumped. “I’ve learned that a lot of things I’ve been doing as a remodeler were green. And a lot of things that are green and we weren’t doing made sense in terms of resource savings and health.”

He claims he got the job to build this 4,059-square-foot home because he had just finished earning his NAHB Certified Green Builder designation. “We got the job because we were ‘green,’” he admits, but now that he stands behind his first house, which also happens to be a national award winner, it was clearly a perfect avenue to take. McCormick thinks that a team approach to the project is largely the key to its success. “The aspect of using an entire design team from the beginning—the architect, homeowner, contractor, and HERS rate—is what made this work.”

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Topics: LEED, 3500 to 4900 square feet

Wolff Waters Place: Affordable Multi-Family Housing

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 24, 2014 1:11:41 PM

ASK CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Brian Peulicke what he thinks is most remarkable about 218-unit multifamily project Wolff Waters Place, and he’ll describe how it blends into its country club community where it is located. “I think as a whole it is beautiful. You would never think of it as affordable.” The units are one to four bedrooms, rent from about $400–$1,000, serving lower income families.
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Topics: LEED, water conservation, affordable housing, multi-family

Good Neighbor

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 11, 2014 3:35:53 PM

THIS SHOWCASE MODEL home sits in an eight-house infill neighborhood in Chevy Chase, Md., and blends well with the other new homes the company has built there as well as the surrounding established homes. Designed to let potential buyers see firsthand the latest green products, technologies, and building methods, the home is a fusion of Frank Lloyd Wright and Asian styles. Brad Beeson, director of marketing for the builder, Bethesda Bungalows, ticks off the certifications and relevant scores this house has garnered: “It’s LEED Platinum, NAHB Emerald, EPA Indoor AirPLUS, EPA Energy Star for Homes, and earned a 91 Walkscore.” As key, though, is that the house looks like a traditionally designed home, which is important to many consumers, who still equate a green home with a modern-looking structure. The design and building team was able to create this timeless look by choosing sustainable products that offer a traditional look. The roof is Enviroshake, which is a wood-look, 95% recycled product. The siding is LP Smartside engineered wood. Finishing the look is Lifespan FSC-certified Radiata Pine and a garage door with 88% recycled content by Overhead Garage Door. Beeson notes that while the design fits well with the neighborhood, the fact that it’s a hybrid of Bungalow and Asian styles makes it unique. “There’s a high level of craftsmanship in the interior, which you notice when you walk in. You don’t see a ‘green house,’ you see the detail.” Beeson attributes this to good design and detailed specs that ensured everything from the screen walls to the built-in banquette iwere executed perfectly. While the company is pleased with the certifications this home achieved, they believe they have been building houses of this quality before they attempted to get certified. “I think you could look at any of the houses in [the infill neighborhood] and they would have reached some level of certification as well,” Beeson says.
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Topics: LEED

Historic Lookalike Home in Florida Costs Only $150 a Month to Cool

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 7, 2014 11:34:00 AM

THIS HOUSE IN SARASOTA, FLORIDA, WASN'T supposed to be green. In fact, the owner, who requested an energy-efficient house, cautioned: “I don’t want a green house. They look ugly, like a garage. I want a home that is a traditional design.” After some back and forth, the owner told custom home builder Josh Wynne that he could make it as green as he wanted as long as he didn’t have to make any financial or aesthetic sacrifices.
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Topics: LEED, solar, energy efficiency, salvaged materials

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