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

Resilient Ranch: Spray Foam Insulation Adds Lasting Value to this HOTY Award Winner

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 1, 2016 12:03:00 PM

Water, food security and land stewardship are just as important as energy independence for this Texas ranch house, a winner in this year's Green Home of the Year Awards.

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY are the focus of this ranch, creating a space where the homeowners could age in place surrounded by family, food and the Texas countryside. Nestled on 100 acres in Texas Hill Country, this artist’s compound is a colorful gem of self-sufficient living and connection with nature.

In the past few years, Texas has been plagued with drought and wildfire; the homeowners built this passive solar home in response to the changing landscape. A preliminary Wildfire Defense assessment was incorporated into the building site to minimize risk of loss.

Read More

Fifties Homage

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 19, 2014 12:57:00 PM


The couple made an offer within 45 minutes, even though many of the home’s original features were covered up or in disrepair.

Read More

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. Read More

Island Jewel

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 27, 2014 9:42:52 AM

Ellis used the short eaves space upstairs to store a single Geyser heat pump water heater. He needed to provide enough capacity for four bathrooms and an outdoor shower. So the two hot water tanks act as storage and are plumbed in line with the Geyser heat pump providing heat for the system. The heat pump runs on standard 110 volt power. As the systems use ambient hot air to heat water, they blow out colder air, cooling the “outdoor” hallway. Also in this space is the 4.5 ton 16 SEER Trane high-efficiency heat pump that conditions living areas.

PROBABLY THE GREENEST way builder Steve Ellis could have used his island property would have been to continue enjoying it as a festive site for bonfires and camping.

Read More