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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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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June 12, 2020

Does Your Insulation Have Low Embodied Carbon?

Zero energy homes need thick layers of insulation, but some materials have serious climate impacts. Identify the key factors that affect the carbon footprint of insulation materials and some good choices for future projects.

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June 8, 2020

The Smog in Your Kitchen – What the Experts Say

Experts Say Cooking with gas is hazardous to health, according to research that spans the last several decades. A recent study puts the issue in stark terms. Air inside homes can be more unhealthy than outdoor pollution even during a wild fire that fills the air with smoke.

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May 20, 2020

Four Steps to Zero Carbon Buildings

New homes and buildings will stand for decades, if not centuries. The carbon emissions embodied in the building materials and resulting from the manufacturing and construction processes must be factored into their overall carbon footprints. These four steps will get us started on the path to zero carbon.

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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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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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January 22, 2020

Achieve Comfort and Reliable Performance with Cold-Climate Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are on track to replace heating systems that burn fossil fuels. Modern inverter-driven models can be extremely efficient, even at low outdoor temperatures, and they are capable of supplying all a home’s comfort needs. Here are three tips for builders and HVAC contractors to reach peak heat pump performance and keep customers happy.

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January 22, 2020

Zero Energy Buildings Surge Ahead

The 2019 inventories of zero energy buildings show growth is strong in this important sector of the construction industry. New homes, apartments, and commercial buildings are increasing their share of the market at an impressive pace.

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November 18, 2019

2020: The Year to Go Zero

Time has run out. A climate crisis is upon us. Only immediate and dramatic action can blunt the catastrophic consequences of a “hot house earth” scenario. There are a variety of actions that almost that every citizen of Planet Earth can take. Together we can make a real difference!

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