Green Homes

Sustainable home in rural Maine
Mar 30,2009 | Freeport, Maine

The 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. pilot program was just getting started when Wright-Ryan Construction decided to build a spec house as a sort of green-building immersion course for its staff.

vernacular design is functional and attractive
Mar 23,2009 | Charlotte, Vermont

Multiple renewable-energy sources help a Vermont home built with more or less conventional methods reach net-zero-energy use

To build a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use, the owners of this rural home in Vermont employed a strategy embracing alternative energy sources, unusually high insulation values, and conscientious fabrication.

Unassuming house for a rustic site
Mar 16,2009 | New Milford, Connecticut

Making Sustainable Construction Their Highest Priority Is a Rewarding Experience for Two Brothers

At first glance, it could easily be mistaken for a well-appointed renovation of an early Connecticut farmhouse, but this new home in the Litchfield Hills is actually the first LEEDLeadership 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. Platinum home in the state. Traditional proportions, cedar clapboards, a partial timber frame, and a standing-seam metal roof are nods to the region's architectural vernacular, though an open design, superinsulated envelope, and both passive and active solar features truly make this a 21st-century home.

yoga studio - south windows at night
Mar 09,2009 | Clarke County, Virginia

Creatively used materials, details, and spaces make this yoga studio and guest house more than equal to the sum of its parts

This thin slip of a building, which sleeps nine people and hosts yoga classes, is actually an ancillary activity space for a main house fewer than 100 feet away.

sunny passive solar home
Mar 02,2009 | Urbana, Illinois

Relatively Small Investments Can Add up to Big Gains with the Right Design Strategies

With R-60 insulation and a south-facing wall punctuated by triple-glazed windows, this PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. home stays comfortable during cold Illinois winters with a heater the size of a hair dryer.

A seamlessly joined addition
Feb 23,2009 | Pacifica, California

A small addition and an extensive renovation helped this Bay Area 1940s kit home truly take advantage of its prime location. The south side of the home faces a beautiful section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. However, with no south-facing windows, the main living areas previously had limited views of the scenery and limited access to natural light.

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