Green Building News

Brad Oberg

Energy-Efficient Show Home is an 8,500-Square-Foot Monster

Posted on January 21, 2009 by Martin Holladay

LAS VEGAS, NV — Every year, a new show house — dubbed the New American Home — is built for the annual International Builders’ Show. Designed for energy efficiency, this year’s New American Home is an 8,500-square-foot Las Vegas mansion with 25 heating and cooling zones, four water heaters, and a swimming pool.

ACEEE map

Energy efficiency programs: state by state ratings

Posted on January 19, 2009 by Martin Holladay

California is Best; Wyoming is Worst

West coast, Northeast, and Lakes states fill out the top 10

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked all 50 states for the quality of their energy-efficiency programs and policies. California received the highest ranking; in descending order, the next best states are Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.

Boulder PV

County Encourages Green Building

Posted on January 10, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Boulder, CO to Issue Energy Efficiency Retrofit Bonds

BOULDER, CO — Voters in Boulder County, Colorado, have voted to approve a program to provide homeowners with county-backed loans to finance the installation of photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. systems and residential energy-efficiency improvements (for example, air-sealing work or insulation upgrades).

Carrie straw bale

A Near-Zero-Energy House In Upstate New York

Posted on January 7, 2009 by Martin Holladay

The engineered frame has custom-made SIP columns

DEPEW, NY — Builder David Lanfear is completing work on a 1,300-square-foot straw-bale house designed to approach net-zero-energy performance. Topped with a 10-inch-thick SIP roof, the home includes a 2-kW photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array and an eight-tube evacuated-tube solar collectorSolar collector consisting of a series of glass vacuum tubes in which an inner tube containing fluid (or in some types, a metal plate) absorbs heat energy and transfers it for practical use, usually water heating. connected to an 80-gallon solar storage tank. “We’re using a lot of used and reclaimed lumber and we’re not using adhesives with VOCsVolatile organic compound. An organic compound that evaporates readily into the atmosphere; as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs are organic compounds that volatize and then become involved in photochemical smog production.,” said homeowner Carrie Zaenglein. “We’re trying to do everything as green as possible.”

Gottfried house

Oakland Home Renovation Gets Platinum Rating

Posted on January 7, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Awarded More LEED Points Than Any Other Renovation in the U.S.

OAKLAND, CA — Homeowners David and Sara Gottfried have received a LEED Platinum rating for their recently completed home renovation in Oakland. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, which David Gottfried founded, their 1,440-square-foot home received the highest LEED for HomesLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. score — 106.5 points out of a possible 136 — of any residential renovation in the country.

Philips music system

Study Quantifies Phantom Load Problem

Posted on January 7, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Electronic Devices Use More Electricity When on than Off

SACRAMENTO, CA — A California study of residential electricity use has determined that 39% of the electricity consumed by small electronic devices (including televisions, set-top boxes, DVD players, and computer equipment) is used while the devices are turned off but operating in standby or phantom load mode.

Vermont Castings stove

Quebec Town Bans Wood Stoves

Posted on January 7, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Town Orders Existing Wood Stoves to Be Removed

HAMPSTEAD, QUEBEC — The town of Hampstead, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, has banned the installation of wood stoves and ordered all existing wood stoves to be removed within the next seven years. The new bylaw covers stoves, fireplace inserts, furnaces, and boilers that burn wood or wood pellets, all of which must be removed by November 3, 2015.

Hartford map

Near-Zero-Energy Homes In Inner-City Hartford

Posted on January 6, 2009 by Martin Holladay

CT Non-Profit Plans 100 Similar Homes Every Year for the Next Decade

HARTFORD, CT — A nonprofit housing developer, SAND Corporation, will soon begin building six net-zero-energy homes in an inner-city Hartford neighborhood. According to the Hartford Courant, SAND (an acronym for South Arsenal Neighborhood Development) has raised $2.1 million to build three duplexes on Earle Street in North Hartford.

Will Anderson house

U.K. House Generates More Energy Than It Uses

Posted on January 6, 2009 by Martin Holladay

Insulation and Airtightness Are Key in Reducing Energy Use.

CLAPHAM, UNITED KINGDOM — Owner-builder Will Anderson claims that the house he completed in 2006 produces more energy than it uses. Equipped with a 4.3-kW photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array, Anderson’s all-electric home is heated by a ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures.. The heat pump also supplies a portion of the home's hot water, with the remainder supplied by a solar thermal system.

Santa Fe green home 2

Green Building Codes Are Derailed In Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Posted on January 6, 2009 by Martin Holladay

HVAC Group Files Suits Against Code

SANTA FE, NM — The development of a new green building code in Santa Fe has been delayed by a legal challenge to a proposed green building code in Albuquerque. On October 3, 2008, a federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction preventing Albuquerque from implementing its new green building code, which included provisions that might be interpreted as establishing minimum efficiency standards for residential heating and cooling equipment that are more stringent than federal minimum requirements.

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