Green Homes

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CS-green sunroom in RI interior

Sunroom Addition in Rhode Island

Jan 21, 2009 | Barrington, Rhode Island

The goal was to raise sustainability but not costs
The owners of this traditional Rhode Island home wanted to better express their eclectic taste when upgrading their cramped porch to a sunroom addition. A better view of the river was a side benefit.

gh-MN straw bale-exterior

Straw-Bale Home in the Minnesota Woods

Jan 16, 2009 | North Branch, Minnesota

Like an old fashioned barn-raising, this home was built with many hands

Built before 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. and most green guideline programs existed, this largely straw-bale house in Minnesota established new building codes with its creation. Its biggest sustainable attribute may well be its collaborative approach.

CS-Tall Timbers front walk

Connecticut's First LEED Gold Home

Jan 13, 2009 | South Glastonbury, Connecticut

An Efficient Design and a Carefully Detailed Envelope Add up to Big Energy Savings

Craftsman bungalows are celebrated for being comfortable, practical and carefully crafted from local natural materials. This 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. Gold home in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, incorporates all of these qualities and more. To meet the homeowners' goal of creating an enjoyable and economical place to retire, CK Architects penned an attractive, efficient, and adaptable plan. A meticulously detailed building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials., a discretely mounted 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 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. keep the home affordable.

Do most older homes need weatherization?

Weatherization: Low-Cost, High-Return Energy Upgrades

Jan 11, 2009 | West Union, Iowa

Each year, Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) uses state funding to weatherize about 100 homes. On this 100-year-old two-story home, and others like it, weatherization crews have performed a variety of diagnostic tests and implemented low-cost, high-return strategies for improving overall energy efficiency — without extensive modifications.

This 2,500-square-foot home is typical for the area but larger than many of the houses in NEICAC's program. The work done on this house reduced air leakage by almost 50%.

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