Category Archives: Integrated Design

Attention to High Performance Details In New Homes Pays Off

On the One Hand… …the Proud Green Home at Serenbe has been a kind of Experimental House for High Performance Design and Construction. Some of the features, products and practices we’re trying for the first time with this home, others we’ve used or done before, but they are still relatively new to the industry. To […]

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PGH at Serenbe is 90% Tighter than Energy Code – Before Drywall!!

Before drywall was installed, I tested the infiltration (air leakage) at the Proud Green Home (PGH) at Serenbe, and the home achieved 0.72 ach50, or 0.055 ELR (more on these numbers in a minute). In other words, it’s really tight!!! The 2009 International Residential Energy Code (IECC), which is adopted in most states, requires an infiltration rate of […]

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Serenbe Modern Proud Green Home Update: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems

Things are really moving along on the Proud Green Home at Serenbe. This past Friday, the mechanical inspector paid a visit and we passed! Ahead this week; the builder has ordered the final plumbing inspection, the sprayfoam contractor is installing the open-cell foam in all the walls and roof, we will be performing the pre-drywall inspection for […]

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I’m an HVAC Magician, I Make Mini-Splits Disappear

Making Mini-Splits Disappear A lot of homeowners and folks in the building industry in the United States don’t want to see their HVAC (a.k.a. heating and air) systems exposed, even if it means high performance, healthy living environment, and total control. There is a magical (OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch) way to have cake and […]

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Construction Update: Contemporary Proud Green Home at Serenbe

WEEK 5: Jodi and I spent a day last week at Serenbe, which included a mandatory stop at the Blue Eyed Daisy. Aside from that, our main purpose was to check-in on the construction of the Contemporary Proud Green Home being built by Luis Imery and his crew at The Imery Group, and they’re moving right […]

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Proud Green Home at Serenbe Construction Update: Installing the Footings

WEEK 2: Construction is underway at the Proud Green Home at Serenbe, and the concrete footings have been poured! Next up…concrete stem walls, which happens tomorrow! After that, we’re pouring the slab-on-grade. Though we considered many good strategies to control heat, moisture and air, here is the foundation detail we are using. Here are some photos […]

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Designing High Performance Homes is Sketchy Business

Architects love to sketch! No matter how advanced, or how user friendly software programs get, we will probably always have a roll of tracing paper, a sketchbook, a napkin or even an iPhone app close by to lay down our ideas on. We can’t help it! A Higher Performance Sketching the designs for this home (right), the […]

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Improved Energy Codes, Diminishing Return, & a New Performance Baseline

It wasn’t long ago that the EPA’s ENERGY STAR New Homes Program created an uproar in the residential building community by releasing Version 3.0 of it’s volunteer 3rd party verification program. One of the biggest crack downs in the new version was it’s requirement for HVAC Contractors to test and verify their installations of the heating […]

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ENERGY STAR Certified Home in Grant Park – Atlanta, GA

Recently, this house in the historic district of Grant Park, Atlanta, was certified through the ENERGY STAR New Homes program at the EPA. The final inspection revealed an air tightness of 0.77 ach50, which is near the maximum acceptable air infiltration level of the aggressive Passive House program (0.6 ach50). The final HERS Index was around 64, which means (among other […]

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New Project (Renovation): Bar Antico – Italian Cafe with High Performance Twist

We have obained the permit from the City of Atlanta for the renovation and addition of this brick building in the “West Side” neighborhood of Home Park. Before demolition began, the building was a single-family home, and next to it was the parking for one of the busiest pizza joints in the country, Antico Pizza. […]

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