Posts From December, 2020

The House That She Built

Utah Women Prove that Homebuilding is Women's Work

We built this home to educate everybody in the construction industry that there is a place for women to work making a good living, teaching a new generation that there are no longer traditional roles in the workplace, and to help eliminate the shortage of labor in our industry which is an ongoing problem. We feel like women can be a part of that solution. --  Jennie Tanner, President of the Utah Professional Women in Building.

 

When you're a little girl, parents don't often think about saying, “Hey, why don't you get a job in construction? Have you thought about being a plumber or an electrician?” Even school counselors don't discuss these options with girls. And so, three years ago, I joined the Utah-based charter of the National Association of Homebuilders and came up with an idea to build the first all-women-built home in the nation.

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Wellborn Cabinet’s Environmental Stewardship Continues

Wellborn Cabinet has been an industry leader in taking care of the environment for nearly 60 years. Wellborn Cabinet, as a part of the Green Choice program, guarantees a product that is made with both the American worker in mind by manufacturing cabinets made in the USA as well as preserving the country where they are produced. It is and has been Wellborn Cabinet’s corporate-wide goal to fully incorporate leading environmental practices, policies, and standards throughout our process — from our suppliers through final delivery to our customers.

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Why Electricity In Your Home Is Better Than Using Natural Gas

Are you using natural gas in your home? Have you thought about the health impacts in doing so? Thinking about switching your appliances to electric or doing a home electrification project? Bruce Nilles--a senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute--realized that his biggest carbon footprint was his own home, and that burning natural gas inside his home was unhealthy for his family. So, 9 months ago they made the decision to electrify their home.

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Causes for Optimism

As a deeply challenging 2020 comes to a close, we are feeling hopeful for the immediate future. We see positive signs of building momentum around important solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. We’ll soon have a new administration in Washington — one, that has appointed the nation’s first cabinet level climate envoy, who will also sit on the National Security Council. This is a welcome sign of commitment to tackling the problem of climate change.

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Smart Decathlon for Innovative Professionals

SDiPro and EEBA Partner to Launch Exciting Competition: Residential Sales Boost for Green Builders

SDipro Solar Decathlon“My experience as Founder and former Director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon showed me the power of challenging competitions that motivate inventive thinking beyond our wildest dreams. Over and over again, collaborative problem-solving spawned clever innovation among student teams, while thousands of enthusiastic visitors clamored to experience those dwellings. Now it’s time to get professionals involved. Imagine how fired up the public will be with a competition of professionals that pushes the envelope even further, including models for sale on the spot.” -- Richard King, CEO, Creative Energy

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Amid Covid, the Air Hazards of Gas Appliances Draw New Scrutiny

Covid-19 has drawn new attention to indoor air pollution. Science has long considered gas appliances to be key culprits.

AS A PHYSICIAN and epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, T. Stephen Jones spent his career fighting major threats to public health in the United States and globally, from smallpox to HIV to viral hepatitis. But it wasn’t until Jones was well into retirement that he learned about a widespread yet widely overlooked health risk in his own home in Florence, Massachusetts, and in most U.S. households: pollution emitted by natural gas appliances.

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Induction Cooktops: Safe, Energy-Efficient Cooking

Traditional gas and electric stoves most common in new builds leak heat as they cook your food. In addition to heating your dinner, they also create a very hot cooking surface, a sweltering kitchen environment - creating a warmer house overall. Induction cooktops provide a modern and efficient cooking experience at home while using less power than other electric stoves and cooktops.

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Keep Zero Energy Construction Simple

Ted Clifton has been building energy-efficient homes for decades. More than 15 years ago he attended a lecture by green architect William McDonough. It inspired him to take the relatively small remaining step from energy efficient to zero energy. Since then he has provided plans and design services for 350 homes or more through Zero-Energy Plans. Another 20 to 30 homes have been built under his direction as general contractor at Clifton View Homes. Bruce Sullivan caught up with Clifton to interview him about his experience.

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Builders – Get Ready for the Renewable Energy Revolution

By Joe Emerson

The world is changing fast — we are in the middle of a silent renewable energy revolution and builders need to understand these quiet but disruptive changes in order to ride the wave of change without being swamped by it. Production of renewable energy from wind and solar is growing as costs are falling. In most locations, it is less expensive for utilities to build new renewable plants than to build a coal-fired power plant and often it’s cheaper than natural gas. Homeowners are increasingly installing solar panels and batteries, and purchasing electric vehicles, as prices continue to decline. Innovations are in development that will speed progress to an all-electric, carbon-free, renewable energy-based economy. How will these innovations affect builders? How should builders prepare? Cheaper, More Efficient Solar Panels Current silicon-based solar panels have a maximum of 23% efficiency with a theoretical maximum of 30%. Perovskite-based panels have a current...

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L’Avenir: The Future Has Come to Fort Collins

Net Zero, luxury townhome-style condos fully powered by the sun's energy and geothermal wells

The Talk of the Town L’Avenir is a beautiful, four-unit townhome project in Old Town Fort Collins that sets the bar for sustainability and energy efficiency. The vision of Perriello Davis and her husband and partner, Robert L. Davis (Davis Davis Architects), the name L’Avenir literally means “The Future” in French. This state of the art project was constructed by award-winning green builder Philgreen Construction with an acute focus on healthy and comfortable indoor quality, overall wellbeing, and the great outdoors. Each unit is fully powered by a combination of photo-voltaic panels and geothermal wells, taking advantage of an extremely energy-efficient design and tight construction. A Revolution in Home Construction In addition to the project's sustainability and energy aspects, it also includes a construction quality and ambiance that will provide residents a comfortable and elegant home. Davis Davis Architects describe the townhome... 

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