January 12, 2021

Brightleaf Homes Gets High Value Appraisals 

Brightleaf Homes used zero energy ready homes to break into the Chicago home building market. Building higher value high performance homes was just the beginning. Then they had to make the extra cost work for buyers. Here’s how they do it.

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November 9, 2020

Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Since before the dawn of civilization, humans have stayed comfortable by harnessing the forces of nature. These principles can also be applied in today’s homes and buildings to reduce or eliminate energy used for conventional air conditioning.

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October 19, 2020

SelahVista Homes Start with Health

While health is always on the list of zero energy home benefits, it was the motivating force that prompted Steve Weise and Brenda Nunes to develop this 60-unit neighborhood in Central Washington. All homes in the development include a comprehensive package of proven features that protect health, maintain durability, and guarantee zero energy ready performance. But Steve and Brenda are taking the health of their homes to a higher level.

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October 15, 2020

Three Simple, Low-Cost, High-Performance Wall Assemblies

Most builders agree that the most affordable wall system is a variation of something they already build. The standard wood-framed wall assembly must evolve to a higher R-value. But how high? What’s the simplest way to get there? 

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September 11, 2020

Protect Homebuyers, Reward Efficiency

Economists often say that markets make the best decisions. But that can be true only when markets have accurate and complete information. Today, the housing market is flying blind regarding one of the most important characteristics of a home: energy use. The solution is mandatory energy disclosure at the time of sale. It’s good for buyers, sellers and the climate.

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September 11, 2020

Keep Zero Energy Construction Simple

Ted L. Clifton of Zero Energy Plans has been designing and building zero energy homes using structural insulated panels (SIPs) for many years. He shares his thoughts about affordability, building codes, and electrification in this interview.

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June 11, 2020

Energy-Efficient Windows Help Close Holes in Your Envelope 

Seven times more heat can escape through a window than a wall. There are more choices than ever to balance energy performance with the other important benefits of windows. Choosing windows wisely will help close the gap.

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May 19, 2020

How to Buy Carbon Offsets 

With only a few years left to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must move rapidly toward a zero carbon society. Direct action is essential, but can’t happen fast enough. Carbon credits must play an important role in the transition.

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April 13, 2020

Heat Pump Magic

Heat pumps make homes comfortable, heat water, and even dry clothes. And they do it far more efficiently than other methods. It’s not magic, it’s science!

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April 13, 2020

Carbon Emissions: We Broke It, We Fix It!

There’s no time to lose. We must move rapidly and decisively toward a carbon-neutral economy. Direct action is essential, but cannot happen fast enough. After you have reduced carbon in your home, vehicles, and businesses, there is still more to do. Here’s how.

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March 18, 2020

The Mystery of Misapplied Mini-Splits

If you’ve ever heard that a mini-split heat pump wasn’t fulfilling its potential there is no mystery — the problem was almost certainly errors in design or installation. Here’s everything that needs to happen for a proper installation and reliable performance.

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March 18, 2020

Production Builders, It’s Time to Sell Zero Energy Homes 

Zero energy homes are poised to go mainstream. Large builders have the scale necessary to launch the market into this new territory. Homebuyers save and builders profit.

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