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Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

The VISION House is off the grid, so the design team had to carefully consider the energy load long before choosing what type of alternative energy system would be appropriate to power the buildings. The list of places to cut energy use includes appliances, ventilation fans, HVAC, and lighting.

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Advanced technologies—from building envelope and mechanical systems to smart devices—are dramatically enhancing the performance of our built environment. In this webinar, Green Builder Media’s editor in chief, Matt Power, explores cutting-edge, cost-effective products that will improve the energy performance of your projects, while saving you money, time, and hassle.

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Household appliance consumption accounts for 21—25% of a total utility bill. That's why it is important to use Energy Star–qualified appliances, which use 20—30% less energy than non Energy Star models. Energy Star–qualified refrigerators use 20% less energy, dishwashers use 10% less energy and 18% less water, and TVs will use 30% less energy (on average). Find out more here.


Lighting designers have been in a fervor using LED technology to conjure up a mind-blowing assortment of new, never-before-possible fixtures to light our homes. Read More

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The 11 Tenets

Here are the eco-landmarks we navigate by as we create this sustainable enclave.

 Energy EfficiencyEnergy Efficiency Off-the-grid living demands the ultimate in energy-efficient products. Here’s what we picked.
 RenewablesRenewables Dependence on petroleum is dead; instead, we use these easy-on-the-environment technologies.
Water and Resource Conservation Water and Resource Conservation Natural resources are finite. Here are the techniques and products we use to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
 Indoor Air QualityIndoor Air Quality Healthy buildings mean healthy people. We spec’d products that make the indoors as fresh as the meadow air surrounding us.
 Smart TechnologySmart Technology We harness smart tech that will make life simpler and help us be more sustainable.
 DurabilityDurability See which building science practices and green products hold up to the harsh realities of high-altitude living.
 Resilient Housing Disaster can strike anywhere. Techniques and products can help buffer buildings from these assaults.
 Multifunctional Living SpacesMultifunctional Living Spaces We designed spaces that morph and accommodate more than one function.
 Onsite Food Production Fresh food grown on site is the healthiest and most green way to go (not to mention tastiest!) Here are some notes from the high-altitude larder.
 Indoor/Outdoor LivingIndoor/Outdoor Living New products and design conceits blur the lines between shelter and the soul-healing outdoors.
 Wildlife ProtectionWildlife Protection Wildlife conservation means protecting all plant and animal species and their habitats so nature will be around for future generations to enjoy. Here’s how we address this important concept.