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Zero Energy Construction is Front and Center at this Project

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 11, 2019 1:26:02 PM

This high-performance project demonstrates carefully planned and executed planning and product selection.

Zero energy construction is front and center at the Lowry site in Denver, where Thrive Home Builders has constructed 34 single-family homes to the high energy-efficiency criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
All 34 homes are expected to perform as zero energy homes—a home that makes as much energy as it uses—offering owners $0 in energy costs over the course of a year. DOE selected one of the 34 homes as a winner in its 2017 Housing Innovation Awards. The winning home achieved a calculated Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 4, with projected annual energy costs of negative $11 per year.
This home, like all 34 of the homes at Lowry, and like every home Thrive builds, is constructed to the DOE ZERH program criteria, providing a highly energy-efficient, solar-ready home.

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Multifamily Project Generates HERS Ratings of 2 or Less For Each Unit

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 6, 2019 7:02:44 PM

A carefully planned design means a real ‘Revival’ for this multifamily project.

Homes built to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) criteria can save energy and cut costs for homeowners. They’ve also been known to provide a more comfortable, quieter living experience. And, in Fort Collins, Colo., they may just be helping to spark a neighborhood revival.

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Hot Water Heat Pumps Solve Title 24 Code Challenge

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 6, 2019 2:36:11 AM

Changes to California’s Title 24 code allow heat pump waters to perform as a prescriptive option, balancing overall energy use for a home.

The 2019 Title 24 added two rules not found in previous codes. The first new item is Community Shared Solar or Battery System. This allows for a common shared system to offset any solar and/or battery requirements of a building.

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Net-Zero Homes Take Building Science and Planning to a New Level

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 30, 2019 2:20:07 PM

The 41 homes that make up Thrive Home Builders’ ZEN 2.0 Collection at the redeveloped Stapleton Airport site in northeast Denver are all net-zero energy, thanks to the solar photovoltaic arrays on each home, and a host of energy efficiency and high performance home features.

Like every home Thrive builds, these homes were constructed to the criteria of the ZERH program.

Thrive has taken the extra step of installing a 7.93-kW solar PV system, as well as an energy storage system. All of the ZEN 2.0 collection units come with enough solar panels to achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 15 or less (Thrive’s winning home here has a calculated HERS score of 4). Even without the PV system, the energy-efficient home would achieve a HERS score of 38.

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Video: Turnkey Floating Stair Systems--Best Practices

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 30, 2019 9:13:05 AM

This video outlines the installation steps for a straight Viewrail FLIGHT stringer and treads. This install was completed in one day.

This product design eliminates the need for on-site engineering. Viewrail has built thousands of floating stair systems. There is no on-site welding, no painting, and treads typically come finished and ready to install. Rod railing installs in half the time required for cable railing. A fab-on-site system typically takes several months to design, deliver and install. It’s a dramatic reduction in on-site labor requirements.

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Maryland House Incorporates SIPs to Achieve Excellent Energy Efficiency

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 22, 2019 2:29:27 PM

An empty nester couple found everything they needed and more in this custom home built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program in Westminster, Md.

The 2018 award-winning home, dubbed Rose Acres by its owners, Suzanne and Dan Swisher, provides 4,270 square feet of living space, including two bedrooms plus his-and-her offices for the work-from-home couple; a great room, breakfast room, dining room, kitchen and bathrooms on the main floor with full wheelchair accessibility; a second-story loft; a hot tub; a complete two-bedroom mother-in-law apartment in the daylight basement; and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside—all at energy bills of less than $50 per month.

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Permeability Makes Perfect

Posted by Bijan Mansouri, Guest Columnist

Oct 11, 2019 5:24:21 PM

Advances in technology and increased builder awareness are making the fight against water leakage more effective than ever.

In the building industry’s ever-increasing pursuit of tighter and more waterproof structures, what are we at risk of losing? Is there a point at which we build a wall that is too tight? While a water-tight assembly is vitally important for controlling issues such as mold growth and protecting indoor air quality, some building practices may be inadvertently making it easier for moisture-related issues to fester. After all, no matter how tightly a wall is constructed, water is inevitably going to find its way in. There’s no such thing as a “waterproof” wall, just one that is built so tightly it is almost guaranteed to get wet and stay wet.

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Six Ways Construction is Changing

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Sep 4, 2019 9:40:32 AM

Green Builder's Annual Building Science Ebook is free to view online or as a pdf download.

From the editors of Green Builder magazine comes a concise look at the latest, greatest innovations changing how homes and multifamily projects are built. From weather barriers to SIPs, utility programs to whole-house air purification that can address urban smog, we look at the how and why of building today.

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75 Types of Wood Ranked by Hardness

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 7, 2019 9:55:44 AM

A very cool infographic courtesy of Alan's Factory Outlet ranking the hardness of various types of wood and what the wood is typically used for.

 

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Problem-Free Closed Crawls

Posted by Alex Glenn and Tommy Blair, Guest Columnists

Jul 30, 2019 6:22:48 PM

The advantages of closed, conditioned crawl spaces have been well documented, but many builders need help with the details.

Roughly 15% to 20% of homes built in the U.S. each year have crawl space foundations. They're cheaper to build than full basements and more functional than a slab, offering a convenient place for plumbing, wiring, ductwork and heating or cooling equipment, as well as some bulk water resiliency.

Twenty years ago, nearly all crawl spaces were ventilated with outside air in an effort to control moisture. Most building codes required such venting.

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