February 8, 2021

Now, a More Climate-Friendly Spray Foam

Spray foam is used enthusiastically by many builders hoping to improve energy performance of their projects. But the hidden climate impact of conventional 2-pound, closed- cell foam is actually a huge step backward. A new generation of low global warming potential spray foam corrects this fatal flaw.

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February 6, 2021

Time to Build and Buy Homes that Power Electric Vehicles 

Two trends are now converging that will promote a zero energy lifestyle. First, electric vehicle sales are poised to grow dramatically. Second, positive energy homes are growing in popularity. These homes create enough energy to supply all at-home energy use and much of the transportation energy for households. It's time for building professionals to build positive energy homes for homebuyers who will soon be driving and charging electric vehicles.

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February 5, 2021

Zero Energy Housing Market Could Double in 2021

The sixth annual inventory of zero energy homes has just been released. It shows considerable growth to almost 28,000 units. Projections indicate the number could double in 2021.

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January 8, 2021

Heat Pump Clothes Dryers — Ready for Prime Time

There is an elephant in the utility room. Clothes dryers have big energy appetites. As homes go all-electric, switching to heat pump technology for clothes drying will save energy and reduce carbon emissions, while reducing the wear and tear on your clothes.

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December 8, 2020

Causes for Optimism

One thing everyone agrees on: 2020 has been hard to take. In spite of protests, pandemic, and politics, there are some spots that burn brighter amidst the darkness. Here are a few developments on the path to zero that deserve our gratitude, support and celebration.

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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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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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September 11, 2020

Zero Fulfills Human Needs at All Levels

A good product meets real human needs. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides a powerful framework for converting those needs into effective messaging to homebuyers. To sell more zero energy homes, sellers need to link the needs of home buyers with the many tangible benefits of zero energy homes.

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August 15, 2020

Fast-tracking Building Energy Retrofits

At current rates, most offices and homes will not be retrofitted for decades or even centuries to acceptable levels of energy efficiency. One approach is mandatory building performance standards—requiring existing buildings to meet a performance benchmark (energy or carbon intensity, performance rating, etc.), with owners having multiple years to bring buildings into compliance.

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August 14, 2020

Selling the Value of Zero

There is a special connection between homes and homebuyers. Yet many new homes are marketed like commodities. To effectively sell zero energy homes, it’s necessary to create a direct link between buyer needs and these homes’ intrinsic values.

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