Tag Archives: integrated design

Zero Net Energy Home, Performance Results and Best Practices, Revealed

Zero Net Energy Home, Performance Results and Best Practices, Revealed The owners of the Proud Green Home at Serenbe, near Atlanta, GA, will never pay for electricity as long as they live there. Before the photovoltaic panels were considered for the home, it was rated, using the HERS Index, to use more than 60% less energy than […]

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Preserving a Historic Home with Building Science

PRESERVING A HISTORIC HOME with BUILDING SCIENCE Historic Preservation is mostly about preserving and protecting buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance. The Historic Molette House, ca. 1825 has a lot of significance in the Molette Family, as well with the people near the Molette’s Bend area near Selma, Alabama. When the home was moved […]

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Molette House, ca. 1825: Historic Preservation meets Energy Efficiency

The preservation, deep energy retrofit and new addition of the Historic Molette Family Plantation house near Orrville, Alabama kicked off last week with an exciting, and at times nerve-racking, three-mile move of the original 80-ton circa 1825 house to its new and, hopefully, final location. We watched in awe as 80 tons and 188 years […]

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The HERS Index is THE Home Energy Efficiency Gauge

GET ON BOARD THE HERS TRAIN, YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. The HERS Index is already the industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. In 2015, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will allow the option for all new homes to use the HERS Index to comply. Considering that residential buildings account for approximately 36.5% (2012 figures) of […]

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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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14 Design Don’ts for High Performance Homes, Part One

There are a lot of ways to design a home. Designing one for high performance, though, or even better-than-average performance, has many recommended best practices that are based on a lot of research of homes that have failed because they’re unhealthy, inefficient, and/or falling apart. This is why we have building scientists (see SOAP BOX […]

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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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Why Don’t Architects and Interior Designers Care About HVAC Systems?

GUILTY! Once upon a time, I would have scoffed at mechanical engineers and contractors if they’d ask me, as the design architect, for a bigger room to put the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) equipment in. “Are you crazy? And give up valuable storage space???” They might have also ask me for dropped soffits 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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