May 23, 2018

The Zero Net Energy Primer: A Guide to the Future of Home Design

Designers and builders may need to make adjustments in their homes when California implements its upcoming zero energy building code for homes. Those adjustments are spelled out and illustrated in this new booklet. It’s a great guide for zero energy home design no matter where you live.
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May 15, 2018

Valuation Techniques for High Performance Buildings

Property sellers and buyers tend to agree that energy efficient buildings are worth more. Getting that value in the market has been another story. Green appraisal consultant, James Finlay, offers a primer for property owners of high-performance real estate to prepare for them for accurate appraisals.
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January 5, 2018

Proper Integration of Heat Recovery Ventilators with Residential Air Handlers

Since most American homes already have a forced-air heating and cooling system, it’s almost irresistible to use the same ductwork for fresh air ventilation. But beware the pitfalls! Avoid performance-killing mistakes by following these essential guidelines. This is the second installment of a two-part series.
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November 13, 2017

Don’t Repair, Replace! Bring Zero Energy Homes to Those Who Need them Most

At some point, homes can become too broken to fix. Instead of pumping public funds into lost causes, combine existing funding sources to provide new homes that are safe, healthy and dignified for a longer-term, smarter solution.
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November 13, 2017

Solving Energy Poverty: Energy Efficient Homes for Those Who Need Them Most

Efforts to address energy poverty in low-income families by helping to reduce their energy burden have been inadequate. It’s time to make these efforts more comprehensive and more effective.
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October 19, 2017

Use Your Consumer Power to Lift the Zero Energy Homes Market

Builders say they will build what people want. Real estate professionals say they help people find the house that’s right for them. Overwhelmingly, home buyers say they want high-efficiency, healthy homes. So why is the market share of these homes so low? The obvious disconnect between the demand and the supply can only be corrected if consumers use their influence to move the market. Here’s how...
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September 20, 2017

Wall Sensor Measures Moisture in a Double-stud Wall

Thick walls hold lots of insulation, but there’s a nagging question about condensation in these cavities. I actually measured the moisture in a 10-inch, double-stud wall in my home in Central Oregon. Here’s what I found.
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July 26, 2017

Loxone Smart Home Systems: New Energy Saving Strategies for Zero Energy Homes

Home energy conservation meets home automation in this new system. It senses conditions in the home and adjusts equipment to improve comfort and save energy. It can also optimize solar battery operation.
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July 24, 2017

Simple Techniques for Lowering the Cost of Zero Energy Homes

How can can costs be cut on the construction of affordable zero energy homes? This Habitat for Humanity zero energy home demonstration project documented $3,000 in construction cost savings.
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June 25, 2017

Builder Profile: Solaire Homebuilders

Mike and Cindi O’Neil share some lessons from more than 20 years of building high-performance homes. Now the company specializes in zero energy homes. Learn what draws clients to them and how they have made energy efficiency their bread and butter.
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