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Net-Zero Home Has Power to Spare

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 5, 2017 3:20:15 PM

This net-zero-plus design can spare some solar for the electric car.

Focusing on total cost of ownership helped builder David Jones earn his first-ever Housing Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Energy for a home he constructed in Litchfield, Conn. The 1,380-square-foot home—the Perkins Road House—was Jones’ first to be certified to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program. And it was the first home that could be classified as “affordable” for the west Connecticut custom home builder whose company, Revival Homes, has built a solid reputation over 30 years of constructing high-efficiency luxury custom and antique reproduction homes.

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Builder Turns Basic Design and Materials into a High-Performance Home

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 22, 2017 11:57:57 AM

For this cost-competitive green home, it’s the little things that make it an airtight bargain.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL has helped BrightLeaf Homes turn standard building materials and a straightforward design into an extremely high-performing home at a remarkably competitive price.

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A Look Inside a Habitat for Humanity DOE Award Winner

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 14, 2017 1:31:43 PM

Green home affordability starts within the walls of this H for H award winner.

LOW-INCOME AMERICANS face a disproportionate energy burden, spending 17 percent to 50 percent of their incomes on heating and cooling bills, while other U.S. households spend an average of just 4 percent of their income on energy. “These families are the ones who would benefit the most from home energy upgrades but they are the least able to afford them,” says Michael Sollitto, Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County’s director of construction. This is one of the primary reasons that the Venice, Fla.-based Habitat affiliate is now constructing all of its homes to the high energy efficiency and durability levels of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.

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Study: White Roofs Are Not Always the Green Choice

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 3, 2017 9:26:05 AM

Details matter. For example, proximity to roof mechanicals and structural elements can get significantly warmer if located near a white roof.

A study out of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies Center for High Performance Environments presents a new scientific challenge to widely held industry assumptions that white roofing is the best option for commercial builders.

The study, led by Elizabeth Grant, associate professor in the School of Architecture + Design, with a team of student researchers, is an impartial, data-driven academic analysis of how black and white roofs differently affect temperatures of surrounding air and adjacent building materials and surfaces.

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Video: California Home Features Title 24-Compliant Wall of Glass

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 31, 2017 1:57:14 PM

New residential construction in California will need to meet zero net energy requirements per Title 24 by the year 2020. Here's how design-builder Eric Woodhouse approached that challenge.

The house Eric built has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths replete with a standing-seam "cool" roof, Nest thermostat, 100% dimmable LED lighting, cellulose-insulated walls, a graywater system, solar panels for generating all the home's energy, and a thermally-broken triple glazed NanaWall SL60 opening glass wall. The design of the home exceeds California energy efficiency standards (Title 24) by 52.5 percent.

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RESNET Marks Milestone of Over 2 Million HERS Rated Homes

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 3, 2017 4:07:59 PM

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) has announced that over 2 million homes in the United States have now been rated with a HERS Index Score, measuring a home’s energy efficiency.

Like the miles-per-gallon calculation for cars, a HERS Index Score allows for a uniform estimate of a home’s energy consumption and provides buyers/owners with a reference point for how energy efficient it is as compared to other homes. Heating, cooling, and water heating constitute the largest cost of homeownership outside of the mortgage loan, and the HERS Index Score can help homeowners outline the energy features of the home and the expected cost of utility bills.

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Research: Adding Graphene to Concrete Produces Super-Strong Mix That Could Assist in Storm Resilience

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 27, 2017 10:50:54 AM

The nanotechnology shows real promise for resisting nature's increasingly powerful weather events.

Although graphene's unsurpassed strength as a material was made clear back in the 20th century, the construction industry still relies on traditional techniques and products for the most part. Factories stand ready to launch wholesale production of graphene concrete and other building materials, but the market remains largely uninformed of their potential. If demand has yet to take off, perhaps it is because graphene still poses as many questions as answers. Researchers at NanoGraphene, Inc. finding themselves in the eye of Hurricane Irma, considered the question of how such enormous destruction could have been avoided.

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Video: 12 Key Factors in Creating a Net Zero Home

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 26, 2017 9:53:33 AM

Clifton View Homes and Zero Energy Plans founder/CEO Ted Clifton walks us through the twelves steps of building planning and construction that have helped him to design and build the most energy efficient homes in the world. Video shot and edited by Kyle Porter, http://porterworks.com/

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Longevity vs. Recycled Materials: Is One Better?

Posted by Megan Wild, Guest Columnist

Sep 25, 2017 4:38:13 PM

Sometimes, you can't get the best of both worlds. Here's what to do when choosing between long-lasting & recycled materials.

As a green builder, contractor or architect, you may have found yourself in a conundrum when trying to recreate the advantages of conventional building materials with recycled, greener materials. While there are now far more options for recycled building materials, helping a client balance between the longevity of a material and the material's recyclability can be a difficult task. But it doesn't have to be! In the following two sections, we'll discuss several types of materials – some that are known for lasting a long time and some that are known for being recyclable and environmentally friendly. Keep reading for some inspiration on how to better inform your client and help them decide between longevity and recyclability.

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Home Run vs Trunk & Branch Duct Layouts. Which is Better?

Posted by Ian Hammond, Guest Columnist

Sep 20, 2017 12:06:50 PM

Ductwork is a key component to a home ventilation system. The best layout method will vary, due to several complex variables.

Efficient and effective home ventilation systems require a significant amount of planning and designing, particularly in high-performance new construction. Good ductwork design and layout, whether it’s ‘trunk and branch’ or ‘home run’, includes an understanding of balanced air pressure, the roles that friction and turbulence play in affecting air flow through the ductwork system, and the impact they have on the performance of a ventilation system.

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