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

... read more
 

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.

... read more
 

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.

... read more
 

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.

... read more
 

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...

... read more
 

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... 

... read more
 

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.

... read more
 

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.

... read more
 

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