An Approach for Every Home
The environmentally responsible technologies and techniques used by Carmel Building & Design deliver a variety of benefits, while allowing expression in nearly any architectural style, and at no or little added cost. For many years, we have incorporated sustainable building technologies wherever possible, and sought third-party project certification when it’s appropriate for our clients.
Passive House—Extreme Energy Efficiency
Passive House—a proven concept in Europe, but in its infancy in the U.S.—focuses on strategies that reduce a home’s energy demand by about 70 percent. A Passive House is a very well insulated, virtually airtight building that is heated primarily by passive solar and internal heat gains from occupants, cooking, bathing, electrical equipment, etc. Control of summer heat through shading, window orientation and ventilation helps limit the demand for cooling. A heat recovery ventilator provides a constant supply of tempered, filtered fresh air. Using this “fresh air” heating and cooling system not only saves space conditioning costs by “recycling” heat, it also provides excellent indoor air quality and consistent temperature. A Passive House affords additional benefits including lower operating costs, increased quiet, greater durability and value, and the responsible use of natural resources.
LEED for Homes—a Comprehensive Approach
The LEED* for Homes program of the U.S. Green Building Council is an internationally recognized approach for design and construction of high-performance homes. LEED considers the entire lifecycle of a home—building, operation, maintenance and beyond—in setting standards for resource conservation (energy, water and materials), pollution and waste prevention, and reduction of indoor toxins.
Zero Net Energy—Clean Energy at Home
A Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home is designed to offset its annual energy usage by generating clean energy onsite. Homeowners often choose photovoltaic (PV) systems for energy generation. Integral to the design of a ZNE home are methods from Passive House and LEED that reduce the energy demand of a home, and consequently, the size and cost of the PV (or other) generating system. The action plan of the California Public Utilities Commission calls for all new residential construction in California to be ZNE by 2020.
Living Building Challenge—the next generation of green
Living Building Challenge (LBC) is not just a new way of building. It’s a new way of thinking and living that carefully considers and respects our finite natural resources and precious environment. It takes Passive House, LEED, Zero Net Energy and all other sustainable and green design and building practices into a completely different dimension. It’s an ideal, yet it has practical applications we can employ today. In fact, Carmel Building & Design is about to start on our first home using the LBC program. We think it’s A better way to build. For more info, visit livingbuildingchallenge.org.
*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design