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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

Game Changer

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 5, 2015 12:52:40 PM

For Tom Elliott and Barbara Scott, Desert Rain is more than a home; it is an outer expression of the couple’s inner values and beliefs. When they purchased two lots near downtown Bend, Oregon, six years ago, their intention was to build a super-green “residential compound”—a main house, two smaller dwellings, garages and infrastructure—to LEED Platinum standards. They wanted to break the pattern of “one lot, one house” in favor of denser development that fostered a strong sense of community.
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Topics: High-Performance Windows, solar hot water, radiant heating systems, FSC Certified Lumber, 2014 Green Home of the Year

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

Near Future Vision

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 31, 2014 1:02:15 PM

The 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle celebrated all things Space Age, including the American Home of the Immediate Future, a prefab modular house. Fifty years later, the Miller Hull Partnership’s Ron Rochon decided to revisit the idea.
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Topics: net-zero energy, 1500 square feet or less, radiant heating systems, Recycled Products

Natural Fit

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 14, 2014 10:07:00 AM

ALTHOUGH YOU CAN'T tell from the finished product, this 3,012 sq. ft. home in Livermore, Colorado, has a skin of SIPs, and a HERS rating of 24.

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Topics: SIPs, Native plants, 2600 to 3400 square feet, Low Flow Faucets, spray foam insulation, radiant heating systems, FSC Certified Lumber, Colorado

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