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Green Builder Staff

Recent Posts

Proposed ASTM International Standard Will Help Evaluate Roof Assembly Changes

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 11, 2020 4:36:57 PM

ASTM International’s building performance committee (E06) is developing a proposed standard (WK70955) that will help evaluate potential impacts of changes to the thermal and moisture properties of roof assemblies and the conditioning of space below roof decks. 

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Heat Pump Water Heaters Achieve Significant Peak Reduction and Energy Savings

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 11, 2020 4:32:56 PM

Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) can be a means to improving electricity affordability, enabling distributed energy integration, and improving the comfort of building occupants. The Building Technologies Office (BTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is researching and innovating in this space by focusing on how and when to use heat pump water heaters.

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Bellingham, Washington Home is Zero Energy, Zero Water and Zero Sewer

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 13, 2020 4:56:39 PM

This living laboratory is a home performance triple-play.

According to Bundle Design Studio architect Dan Welch, the Birch Case Study House was “developed as our business card.” Welch now lives in the home with his wife in the Birchwood neighborhood of Bellingham, in northwest Washington state. Welch had designed or consulted on several high-performance homes since leaving a traditional commercial architecture firm to start Bundle Design in 2014, but this was the first home he actually built.

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Habitat for Humanity’s Latest Housing Project Brings Green Affordability

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 18, 2019 1:04:44 PM

Habitat for Humanity has an inspiring vision for its Depot Neighborhood begun in Traverse City, Michigan—to build each of the community’s 10 single-family homes to be truly affordable ones that harvest and produce all the energy they need over the course of a year, with the goal of eliminating homeowner energy bills forever.

To meet this goal, the Habitat affiliate decided to certify all 10 of the homes to the strict energy performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.

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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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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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Video: Homes Can Hit Net Zero Performance If You Seal These 5 Leaks

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jul 7, 2019 8:41:15 PM


Air sealing is distilled to the most important components in a quick-watch building science vid.

Most new homes perform at about 5 air changes per hour (ACH). By sealing these five key areas, you can lower ACH down 2 or 3, making the house net zero energy ready--with minimal labor, no special skils and no change of insulating material. Once you're done, just add solar.

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