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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BC Home Builder Shrinks Mechanical Costs 20% with AeroBarrier Air Sealing

Like most cities in North America, COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to British Columbia’s housing market. Smart builders are using this disruption to their advantage, finding new ways to differentiate their homes by finding the ideal mix of value, quality, and comfort.  Edward West Luxury Homes is a perfect example of this trend. This family-owned, custom home builder is based in Kelowna, BC. Just 90 miles from the United States border, the city sits on Okanagan Lake and offers homeowners world-class vineyards, great weather, beaches and even ski hills.

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Low Carbon Concrete – Starting from the Ground Up

By Joe Emerson

Concrete! It has been used since before 6,500 BC, most extensively in the Roman Empire, and then forgotten until it’s resurrection in Europe around the 15th century. Today it’s the most prevalent man-made material on the planet — used for homes, high rises, roads, bridges, and parking lots — and for good reason. It provides strength, flexibility, and durability in construction that is matched by few if any other building materials.

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Hot Off the Press! Introducing SDiPro

by Richard and Melissa King
Hot Off the Press! Introducing SDiPro
Announcing the launch of a new competition for the green building industry! Designed as a catalyst to accelerate change, the Smart Decathlon for innovative Professionals, or SDiPro, challenges professional teams to design, build, and sell energy-efficient, sustainable homes that address the critical need for affordable housing in the United States. As a collaborative partner with EEBA, SDiPro aims to jump-start the supply of healthy, zero-impact housing for today’s consumers. SDiPro builds on the resounding success of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, which challenges university teams to design and build energy-efficient homes powered by the sun. SDiPro goes one step further. Professional teams will take the lead to design, build, and sell high-performance homes. With SDiPro, the spotlight is on innovation in homes equipped with the latest and greatest smart technology to ensure consumer comfort and adaptability in beautiful, safe sanctuaries. With SDiPro, those... read more
 

Are Solar Roofs Ready To Go Mainstream?

By Joe Emerson
Are Solar Roofs Ready To Go Mainstream?
Anyone considering solar for their home has probably heard of solar shingles, solar tiles, and solar roofs. These solar electric systems have photovoltaic cells integrated into the actual shingles or roofing tiles — a sleeker, more aesthetic, alternative to large panels elevated on racks. They may also have heard that solar shingles have had technical problems and are very expensive. In fact, some solar roof startups have failed, while others survive. So how cost effective are solar roofs and should you consider one? Are Solar Roofs Cost Effective? One way to answer that question is to evaluate the leading product in this category —Tesla’s third generation Solar Roof, the most cost effective solar roof currently available with the most advanced technology. At $2.11* per installed watt, the Tesla system beats out DeSol Power Tiles (at about $7.00 per installed watt*) and Luma Solar Tiles (at about $4.50 per installed watt*) on cost. It has been shown in one case study, using... read more
 

More than meets the eye: what’s happening behind your stucco and manufactured stone

More than meets the eye: what’s happening behind your stucco and manufactured stone
Stucco and manufactured stone have been used in the building industry for ages. These claddings are well known, and well used for their leading properties in fire resistance, durability, and aesthetics. In fact, according to the Census Bureau’s recent Survey of Construction, 25% of homes built in the US in 2017 used stucco cladding; second only to vinyl, which was used in 27% of homes. This number is predicted only to increase, with stucco usage expected to continue to grow across the globe, especially in North America. Although it is evident stucco is a strong choice for several reasons, many builders are still scratching their heads when it comes to tackling their biggest challenge with this type of finish – moisture. Moisture is a critical concern for stucco and manufactured stone homes. Without the right protection, uncontrolled moisture can lead to mold, wall rot, and decay, and eventually have an impact on both the aesthetics and structural integrity of the home. Though... read more
 

Denver-Area Housing Market Forecast

The outlook for the Denver-area housing market is bright, but we should be wary of persistent labor challenges and effects on housing demand.

Denver-area housing has been on a wild ride in 2020.  With a COVID-19-induced slowdown driving permit totals to multi-year lows in the spring months, permit activity came roaring back in the summer.  The metro area approved 3,258 single-family permits between June and August, down just 0.8% when compared to the same time last year.  Multi-family permits suffered a larger decline, although with 506 permits approved in the last six months, multi-family activity fell just 17.7% versus 2019.  The uncertain outlook for Denver housing construction in coming months is affected by countervailing factors.  On one hand, note that local permit offices were closed for a time to prevent community transmission of coronavirus, and pent-up demand for new permits may have played a role in the strong summer rebound.  Additionally, labor market disruption this year has reduced the pool of qualified buyers, suggesting that homebuyer demand may yet weaken.  Nonetheless, the big surprise of the year is housing’s outstanding resilience despite the very real challenges the industry has faced.  

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SelahVista Homes Start with Health

Custom home builder Steve Weise has teamed up with REALTOR® Brenda Nunes to offer homebuyers a truly unique option in the small central Washington community of Selah: A zero energy development where all 60 homes feature 5-star Built Green and Indoor airPLUS certifications. The homes at SelahVista give homeowners peace of mind of owning a healthy home where they pay nothing for energy. Steve became keenly focused on healthy homes after one of his custom home clients hired him to build a home without the toxic chemicals common in conventional construction. In the process, he realized that he himself had been suffering from his own occupational exposure to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by the adhesives ubiquitous in standard home construction. 

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Selling the Value of Zero

Homes, especially production homes, are usually sold as commodities. This is understandable because in an up market all homes go up in price together and in a down market prices fall together — at these times features and benefits seem less relevant. As a result, traditional home selling often relies on marketing to create “perceived” value, rather than selling the real value of a home. In a commodity market, marketers sell the “sizzle,” rather than the “steak,” focusing on superficial qualities or square footage rather than true value to the buyer. However, buyers’ behavior makes it clear that they do not view a home purchase the same as buying a commodity, such as a bottle of milk. For buyers, a home purchase is a very complex, personal process involving weeks or months of searching, inspecting, comparing features, and falling in love with homes. When sellers treat homes as commodities, and convince buyers to do the same, they don’t connect to the true values and risks that...

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Affordable Housing is a Political Choice

Local and national housing policies have squeezed affordable housing out of the market. Learn why change is needed & how we can improve housing policy.

Roadblocks to Afforable Housing Affordable housing is a political choice. Local and national housing policies have squeezed affordable and attainable housing out of the market. Since the Great Recession of 2008, homebuilders and developers have faced roadblocks at nearly every turn when trying to build shelter products that are affordable for the buyers below the median income. The U.S. Is Facing a Severe Housing Crisis The United States may be facing its most severe housing crisis in history. It has been declared in articles in Foreign Affairs and Bloomberg recently. Home Builders have known that this was developing since the end of the Great Recession. Federal government restrictions have largely engineered this shortage. These restrictions respond to a phenomenon called the "HomeVote," a term coined by William Fischel.[1] HomeVote drives up home values for those that are already homeowners. These homeowners are motivated to stop growth in order to limit supply and...

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