Making Green Affordable, Part 2

Posted on April 18,2015 by ChrisBriley in affordability

Part Two of this episode brings us to construction details for high-performance affordable homes. Again, I feel the need to point out that we are not talking about low-income housing or housing that makes a difference between shelter and non-shelter. I'm talking about high-performance homes that will compete, on a financial level, with those cheap vinyl boxes that litter suburbia and urban areas alike. Phil and I have refreshed our drinks and are ready to talk about building envelope construction from the bottom up. Let's get started.

Making Green Affordable, Part 1

Posted on April 18,2015 by ChrisBriley in affordability

Now that "green" design (usually defined as design that is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly) is arguably in the mainstream, our industry faces a challenge: to bring green design into the realm of affordability. "Affordable," like "green," is a subjective term, and so it makes it difficult to discuss without offending some people (specifically those who are struggling to afford basic shelter for themselves or others; where a donated sink, or 2x4, makes all the difference.) I don't think this article is necessarily for you/them. I should be clear, right up front, that we are mostly talking about very low-energy, high-quality houses. However, all the principles Phil and I discuss, can be applied to any home, of any size and scale. So, join Phil and me as we knock back a cocktail, roll up our shirt sleeves, and discuss our respective approaches to affordable green design. I should also warn you that Phil and I are a bit chatty in the beginning, and if you are the type that likes to get right to the subject matter, and don't care about Phil's discovery of Campari, then you'll want to skip ahead to minute 06:00. For the rest, well, here's to you!

Unity Homes Combines Prefab with Energy Efficiency

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in 0.6 ach50

Like many builders, Tedd Benson and his team at Bensonwood Homes have taken an active interest in the emerging market for energy-efficient homes. In addition to developing panelized construction techniques and producing many custom timber frame commercial and residential buildings since its founding in 1974, Bensonwood built a home in Norwich, Vermont, to the Passivhaus standard.

Paths to Passivhaus in Santa Fe

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in affordability

Suitable as it is for the city’s high-elevation climate, Passivhaus construction has been finding its footing in Santa Fe, where design-build teams such as Jonah Stanford and Vahid Mojarrab, of Mojarrab Stanford Architects, have been building to the standard while also aiming to keep costs from skyrocketing.

USGBC Announces 2011 LEED for Homes Awards

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in affordability

One of the highlights scheduled for the “Residential Summit” at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, underway in Toronto, was the presentation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2011 LEED for Homes Awards.

Two Solar Decathlon Homes Get High Marks for Affordability

Posted on April 18,2015 by Fretboard in affordability

The newest of the 2011 Solar Decathlon’s 10 contest categories – affordability – has become an impressive showcase for design ingenuity, and powerful evidence that building energy-efficient homes doesn’t have to bust the bank. The rules are simple: homes that cost $250,000 or less to build earn the contest category maximum of 100 points, while homes costing more than $250,000 lose points on a sliding scale that tapers to zero at the contest limit of $600,000.

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