Green Homes

A multitasking island
Feb 15,2010 | Brattleboro, Vermont

Old houses didn't need big kitchens because they weren't the central gathering spot that today's kitchens are. The 12-ft. by 12-ft. kitchen in the house my wife, Chris, and I bought ten years ago was just such a space: small and dark. It was pretty typical for a 100-year-old New England home, but it was challenging for how a kitchen works in the 21st century.

Rouleen Williams exterior - horizontal 2
Jan 15,2010 | Salisbury, New Hampshire

By Rouleen Williams

My plans to build a dream home took years to bear fruit. I took the first step in 1988, when I bought an 18-acre property in Salisbury, N.H. The lot slopes to the southwest, with a spectacular western view over a beaver pond to Mt. Kearsarge.

It took me 19 years to save enough to qualify for a construction loan. In many ways it was good that the process took so long, because the home I finally built is much better than the one I first envisioned.

Chicago garage 1
Dec 11,2009 | Chicago, Illinois

By Thomas McGrath

With help from a photovoltaic (PV) array, this garage in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood produces far more energy than it consumes. Made from durable green materials, the garage is providing power to workers undertaking a gut rehab of the 1890s single-family home at the same address.

windows, solar hot water
Nov 02,2009 | Saxapahaw, North Carolina

UPDATED 2/23/2011 with floor plans, details, and an energy use graph

Although I’ve been building green homes for 30 years, I joined the certification game only five years ago. I’ve gained so much from the feedback provided by the Energy Star HomesA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to promote the construction of new homes that are at least 15% more energy-efficient than homes that minimally comply with the 2004 International Residential Code. Energy Star Home requirements vary by climate. program and the NAHBNational Association of Home Builders, which awards a Model Green Home Certification. Green Building Initiative that I decided to dive right in to help create the new National Green Building Standard (NGBSNational Green Building Standard Based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and passed through ANSI. This standard can be applied to both new homes, remodeling projects, and additions. , also known as ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute. National nonprofit membership organization that coordinates development of national consensus standards. Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used meet the Institute’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process. -700 or NAHB-Green).

Garage office renovation at night
Oct 20,2009 | Halifax, Nova Scotia

When we purchased our circa-1896 farmhouse in 1994, one of the main attractions was the old garage. We quickly replaced its failing asphalt roof with new cedar shingles in 1995, but as much as we liked it, the garage remained a somewhat forgotten backdrop to our yard until we were forced to address structural issues in early 2008.

California bungalow green renovation
Oct 01,2009 | San Diego, California

An appreciation of historical houses and a desire to be in a family oriented neighborhood with plenty of walkable and bikeable amenities ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. Jennifer and Alex to make this 1930s California bungalow their first home, in 2008. The location, surrounded by locally owned businesses, close to beautiful Balboa Park, and only 2 miles from the city center fit their needs perfectly. Their modest budget, strong commitment to environmental stewardship, and, of course, their new daughter, helped define the way they approached the project.

Existing conditions complicate construction

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