New Home

2011 Solar Decathlon is in the Home Stretch

Posted on March 06,2015 by patrick_mccombe in design

After being in the construction business in one form or another for more than 20 years, I often feel jaded by our lack of progress in building long-lasting, energy-efficient homes despite decades of trying. Well, my trip last week to the 2011 Solar Decathlon has given me renewed hope. The young people who designed and built the 19 homes in the event had more smarts and enthusiasm than I could ever have anticipated. And they made really nice houses, too. Even the designs and features I was skeptical of proved thought-provoking and interesting.

How to Sell Green Upgrades: Electrical Improvements

Posted on March 06,2015 by michaelds in how to sell

I have three favorite electrical enhancements I love to sell homeowners. There's also a fourth option that can be a little bit tricky. All these options provide the client with value, and all are more cost-effective in new construction than they would be in a remodel.

My Forays Into Multifamily Affordable Housing

Posted on March 06,2015 by CarlSeville in New Home

After a decades-long career in high-end, single-family renovation and construction, and a relatively new business providing consulting and certification services for the same market, I recently became involved in several multifamily projects. Starting with National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification on a market-rate apartment building that was completed in 2010, I am now in the early stages of LEED certification for several affordable projects throughout the southeast.

Solar Decathlon 2011: Team Canada's Turtle-like TRTL

Posted on March 06,2015 by Fretboard in international

The path to Solar Decathlon 2011 for Team Canada – an interdisciplinary group of students from the University of Calgary – cuts through the prairie of southern Alberta and incorporates the culture and traditions of the area’s indigenous people, the Treaty 7 First Nations of Alberta.

Green Building Priority #5 – Build Smaller

Posted on March 06,2015 by AlexWilson in home size

While the trend has begun to turn around, we've been building larger and larger houses for decades. In 1950, the average house in the U.S. was about 1,100 square feet, while there were about 3.4 people per household, according to data I compiled for a 1999 article in Environmental Building News. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009 the average new house in the U.S. was 2,438 square feet (down slightly from 2,518 square feet in 2008), while the average household size was 2.6 people.

Healthy Child Healthy World, Part 2

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-702374 in greenguard

To create healthy and sustainable interiors for our clients, it is essential that we understand how to enhance indoor air quality, tapping into IAQ-specific resources and expertise. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is at the top of my resource list.

Comparing Green Building Rating Systems: LEED or NGBS?

Posted on March 06,2015 by D K in Green Building Programs

Two of the green rating programs we’ve mentioned in this blog series are the LEED for Homes program and the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) developed by NAHB. The intent of these two certification programs is similar.

Bensonwood Is Reinventing the House

Posted on March 06,2015 by AlexWilson in New Home

I had the good fortune last week to spend a few hours touring the Bensonwood offices and factory in Walpole, New Hampshire. I’ve known Tedd Benson for perhaps 20 years, and knew of him a lot longer than that through his writings. He pretty-much created the modern timber-framing profession, starting back in the early 1970s when he set out to reinvent the craft of timber-frame construction that our New England ancestors used centuries ago.

Does Green Building Have to Cost More?

Posted on March 06,2015 by AlexWilson in New Home

Having written about green building for more than twenty years now, I’ve encountered lots of misperceptions. One of those is that green building always has to cost a lot more than conventional building. There are plenty of examples where it does cost more (sometimes significantly more), but it doesn’t have to, and green choices can even reduce costs in some cases. Let me explain.

The Do-It-Yourself Home Building Enabler

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-756436 in consultant

Can owner-builders save money by acting as their own general contractor? According to one New Hampshire builder, Alan Rossetto, the answer is a resounding “Yes” — as long at the owners are willing to contribute sweat equity.

LEED for Homes Registrations Increase Despite Housing Woes

Posted on March 06,2015 by Fretboard in green construction

The USGBC says it is seeing program participation increasing, even as the balance of new-home starts declines Given current interest in its LEED for Homes program, the U.S. Green Building Council says, the number of houses registered to the program could exceed 1% of new-home starts by the end of 2009.

Efficiency in the Desert

Posted on March 06,2015 by user-756436 in environments for living

Energy efficiency and sustainability take center stage at two new Las Vegas developments built by Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. Pulte’s Azure Canyon development is located in southwest Las Vegas, where the growing edge of suburbia meets the shrinking desert. Every Azure Canyon home meets the “Green Built” standards established by the local homebuilders’ association. Ranging in size from 1,788, to 2,088 square feet, the homes sell for $230,000 to $260,000.

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